Speaker encourages manufacturing careers
October 3, 2014
While the door is wide open to high-paying manufacturing jobs, students aren’t always encouraged to pursue them as a career option. “A lot of the students will say, ‘My parents didn’t really push me in that direction,'” said Paula Baco, Trumbull Career and Technical Center program coordinator. “If you don’t have a family member in manufacturing, you might not consider it a viable option.”
To combat the oversight, TCTC invited high school freshman and sophomores, along with their families, to attend a Manufacturing Day event Thursday at the school.
TCTC offers several manufacturing programs, including manufacturing technology, architectural drafting, engineering and welding.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Margaret A. Thompson
Jeremy Bout, host and producer of “The Edge Factor Show,” shared videos of individuals making their way into manufacturing and finding success during a parent-focused Manufacturing Day event Thursday at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
“They probably think they’re going to look like this,” said Curtis McLewis, motioning to his oil-stained clothing.
McLewis is a union millwright currently working on installing and repairing presses at the General Motors Corp. Complex in Lordstown.
“It would be a good idea for him to get into anything,” McLewis said about his son, also named Curtis McLewis.
Curtis, 15, is a sophomore at Howland High School and said he’s been considering a job in manufacturing.
Claiming to be clueless about manufacturing, Rich and Debbie Grimm of Cortland said they came out just to get some information about the career path since their sophomore son showed some interest in it.
“He’s tossed it around,” Debbie said.
They, along with a handful of others, listened to the evening’s featured speaker, Jeremy Bout, host and producer of ”The Edge Factor Show.” Bout, a machinist turned film producer, shared videos of individuals making their way into manufacturing and finding success.
“In today’s society, there is tremendous opportunity,” Bout said. “I mean, I made good money, so why is it so difficult to get you guys into the industry?”
While the starting salary of entry-level manufacturing engineers is nearly $60,000, only 30 percent of parents encourage their children to enter manufacturing, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
Further numbers show that a majority of manufacturing companies report a severe to moderate shortage of available and qualified workers, which they anticipate to worsen over the next three to five years.
Baco said TCTC is preparing students to fill those positions.
“Students in our welding class are ready to go right to work. They’ve got credentials,” Baco said.
The welding program continues to have a waiting list, but the other courses have openings, she said.
To put on the event, TCTC partnered with the Oh-Penn Manufacturing Collaborative, which is a partnership between the Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition and the Manufacturing Industry Partnership of Lawrence and Mercer Counties. MVMC works to connect students with local manufacturing internships and jobs.
Students from Trumbull County high schools will be buses to the center to hear Bout’s presentation today.