Posted by Jill Worth | 04 / 08 / 16 1 Comment

The need for talented manufacturing students is great

Last month, two of our Rodon employees, Dan Raymond and Matt Juckniewitz attended an annual local event called "Manufest". Dan is our Toolroom Foreman, and Matt is one of our Design Engineers. Manufest began last year as a way to get high school students interested in careers in manufacturing and to have a chance to meet with local manufacturers to learn about the 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.  

The 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. 



The keynote speaker for the event was Jeremy Bout from Edge Factor. "As a critically acclaimed filmmaker, producer, public speaker and entrepreneur, Jeremy leads the Edge Factor team in turning bold ideas into reality. The ManuFest "Dear Success Letter" keynote performance by Jeremy brought to life a powerful monologue that touched on the heart of how we define success and the incredible opportunities in advanced manufacturing that are changing lives and building our world."  Jeremy was an ideal speaker and one that the students could look up to as an example of success. 

Dan and Matt came back excited, energized and most of all thankful to have been able to have had the opportunity to share their experiences and skills with the students.  

This event is just one example of the exciting and powerful experiences that are having a positive effect on the future face of manufacturing.

Whats's so cool about manufacturing? Everything!

Our friends at NIST/MEP/MEP also covered a local Pennsylvania event that is transforming how students think about careers in manufacturing.  The event is the 3rd annual "What’s So Cool About Manufacturing" Student Video Contest and it's sponsored by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the MEP affiliate in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.  

Here's an excerpt from the blog post "What's So Cool About Manufacturing? Everything!"
As said by one of the students interviewed on her participation in the 3rd annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest in the Lehigh Valley (PA). I had the privilege to attend the awards ceremony of this awesome event ‘dreamed up’ by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the MEP affiliate in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, held on February 23, 2016, with 800 people in attendance.

Billboards guide the community to a website hosting the videos, where they can vote for their favorite.

Jack Pfunder, President of MRC, and his team started this contest three years ago as an opportunity to expose middle school students to the wonders of manufacturing in their own back yard. As the Dream It, Do It lead for the state of Pennsylvania, MRC was wrestling with the talent pipeline issues faced by many manufacturers across the country. How do we excite the next generation of talented students to consider careers in this industry?

The Lehigh Valley has a wonderful network of Career and Technical High Schools with solid programs available for manufacturing careers, but they need to excite 7th and 8th graders to enroll. And of course, parents need to get the message also that there are many companies in their community looking for talented and smart ‘kids’ to take on the challenge of helping them grow their businesses. With a few dollars from local philanthropy, and a few companies willing to open their doors to teams of 7th and 8th graders and their video cameras, the first 10 teams of students, with teacher coaches, piloted this innovative program. Student teams learn about the company, its manufacturing process, and the jobs required and then they plan and “shoot” their footage to compete for the title of Coolest Video. Who votes? The community. With ads, billboards, and social media, the community is guided to a website hosting the videos, where they can vote for their favorite.

You can read more of the blog post here at

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