Bill Bregar's Viewpoint article in the June 6 Plastics News was right on regarding attracting young talent. As manufacturers, we have to stop complaining about the lack of qualified employees and do something about it. By now we should realize that no one else is going to help us.
The story of Dymotec is interesting but there is more to it than this article could cover. It takes more than a company to do this. The town, education system, and State government have to be onboard to make a difference.
Dymotec is located in Ellington, Connecticut which borders East Windsor where Dri-Air Industries is located. Ellington schools are the highest rated schools in Connecticut and yet have the lowest cost per pupil of any town in Connecticut. Their school board and leadership at the school provide the proper learning atmosphere and concentrate on what is good for the students.
Ellington is a rural farm community which includes a unique Swiss population that instills a good work ethic and responsibility as high priorities. Those still farming also know the rewards of honest work which they instill in their children. This forms the mentality of the town and its school system.
East Windsor on the other hand is one of the poorest performing schools in Connecticut and spends considerably more per student than Ellington. East Windsor is not as cohesive as Ellington and does not put much emphasis on education as a priority. Obliviously, money is not the key.
A few years ago, I offered to pay for the Plastivan to visit the school system and after several attempts I was told that they do not allow any outsiders on their property. We used to have a business to school group whose goal was to work with the school system to make them aware of our needs for their graduates. This group was cancelled long ago as the school system felt it was not worthwhile.
My point is that we all have to work together to make it work. I have been fighting this concept that everyone has to go to college for years to no avail. Maybe someday our country's education system will realize we need factory workers, plumbers, construction workers, carpenters, brick layers, mechanics and the list goes on. Until then, we will continue to graduate people from college with huge loans and no jobs.
Charlie Sears, president
Dri-Air Industries Inc.
East Windsor, Conn.