There was a lot to celebrate this past Friday at The Rodon Group. Back in 2011, we hosted our first Manufacturing Day event. We were one of about 200 companies throughout the country to open our doors to students, educators and parents. Last Friday, we hosted our sixth Manufacturing Day and were joined by over 2,650 other companies and organizations. The message has certainly become loud and clear over the years; Manufacturing Day has struck a chord with the public and continues to grow every year.
Our event this year focused solely on students, supporting the true mission of MFG Day:
"MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry."
We hosted close to 50 students from local tech schools, high schools, and colleges. We were also graciously joined by Kendra Martin, Senior Director of Industry Affairs at SPI, the Society of Plastics Industry and Steve Toloken, News Editor for Plastics News, a leading publication for our industry. We split into groups and gave tours of our facility, watched a presentation and several videos about the future of this great industry. While the speakers reinforced the importance of American manufacturing and the variety of career opportunities, the factory tour gave attendees a chance to see it all in action. Groups were guided through the facility by company executives, including K’NEX creator Joel Glickman. They were shown the design, tooling and manufacturing processes in action and watched Baxter, a collaborative manufacturing robot from Rethink Robotics at work.
Our second celebration that day was for Rodon's 60th Anniversary. Founded in 1956 by Irving Glickman, The Rodon Group has remained on the forefront of American manufacturing and plastic injection molding. Glickman had helped develop synthetic rubber during World War II, then recognized the potential of plastics, and started Rodon. He was 100 years old when he died Nov. 19, 2012. However the company continues to stay in the Glickman family.
A lot has changed since Rodon started out in 1956, but the one thing that has remained is the company's commitment to investments in technology, automation, and their employees. The average tenure at Rodon is 15 years for all employees and 25 years for managers. Our future success depends on a robust and growing manufacturing sector. All in all, it was an exciting day with a lot to celebrate for Rodon's past and future.