Posted by Jill Worth | 04 / 07 / 17 0 Comments

The need for talented manufacturing students is great

Last month, two of our Design Engineers at Rodon, attended an annual local event called "Manufest". Manufest began a few years ago as a way to get high school students interested in careers in manufacturing and to provide them with an opportunity to learn about manufacturing companies and the types of jobs available to them after they graduate. This particular event was sponsored by the Montgomery County Commerce Department/Montco Works in partnership with the Bucks/Montco Alliance, Bucks County Workforce Development Board, Montgomery County Community College, and the MidAtlantic Employers' Association.  

Manufest 2017 LogoThe event is a win-win for both students and exhibiting companies, as the lacking pipeline for manufacturing is one of the most critical issues facing employers today. It's crucial that educators, parents, and students are exposed to the industry to prove that a career in manufacturing is not only a good career choice but a great career choice with many varied paths. This event is just one example of the exciting and compelling experiences that are having a positive effect on the future face of manufacturing.

Whats's so cool about manufacturing? A whole lot!

We recently participated in a local Pennsylvania event that is transforming how students think about careers in manufacturing.  The event is the 4th annual Dream It, Do It's "What’s So Cool About Manufacturing" student video contest sponsored by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the MEP affiliate in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.  

According to the Dream It, Do It website, "Dream It. Do It. PA is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in the Keystone State about advanced manufacturing careers. Dream It. Do It. PA started in 2013 as an effort called Lehigh Valley Skill Up to raise awareness in the Lehigh Valley area. The popularity of the partnership’s flagship student video contests enabled it to expand its reach throughout Pennsylvania. 


With donations from local philanthropy, and manufacturing companies willing to open their doors to teams of 7th and 8th graders and their video cameras, the first ten teams of students, with teacher coaches, piloted this innovative program. Student teams learn about the company, the manufacturing process, and the types of jobs required. They then plan and “shoot” their video footage to compete for the title of Coolest Video. The community voted, and with ads, billboards, and social media were guided to a website featuring all of the videos, where they can vote for their favorite.

We were partnered with students from Log College Middle School in Warminster, PA and several months ago, the student team visited us for their video shoot. They were able to tour the facility and interview our owner and the founder of K'NEX toys, Joel Glickman.  Needless to say, they were very excited to meet Mr. Glickman and have the opportunity to see how K'NEX parts and many other industry parts were made using the process of plastic injection molding. 

At the end of the contest, an awards ceremony was held at Montgomery County Community College.  All in all, the experience was a lot of fun the students and us, and we're proud to help support the future of advanced manufacturing careers in Pennsylvania. 

What kind of events are happening in your local cities and towns that are having a positive impact on students?  Tell us about them in the comments section below. 

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Topics: STEM and Manufacturing Careers, The Rodon Group