I want Heavy Metal to be a forum for ways to attract young people to manufacturing. Last time, we heard the always-interesting thoughts of Charlie Sears, owner of Dri-Air Industries Inc. in East Windsor, Conn.
Let's return to Connecticut, Heavy Metal readers, and talk to two other machinery veterans: Jim Murphy and John Adamowicz. These are both solid guys. Plain-spoken.
Murphy was promoted to president and CEO of Davis-Standard LLC a few months ago. He is a 25-year veteran of the machinery manufacturer, based in Pawcatuck, Conn., which is part of a small town called Stonington right by the Atlantic Ocean. Mystic is close by. A picturesque area.
In early June, Davis-Standard sponsored the PlastiVan for three days in the area, including stops at high schools in nearby Westerly, R.I., and Stonington. The PlastiVan is the Society of Plastics Engineers' traveling hands-on education exhibit, led by Marjorie Weiner, who does a great job. No matter how long you've been in the industry, you will learn something new from the PlastiVan road show.
OK, back to the elusive “young people.” Davis-Standard is right next door to Stonington High School. But, aside from the kids whose parents work at Davis-Standard, almost none of the high school students knew what Davis-Standard does, Murphy said.
Right next door. “We share a property line, right?” he said.
Murphy said just about every area high schooler has heard about Electric Boat, the huge submarine shipyard in Groton, Conn. But Davis-Standard? Right next door?
Murphy said Davis-Standard does work with two local technical schools, Norwich Technical High School and the Ella T. Grasso Technical High School, supporting their CAD program. Students from those programs also tour Davis-Standard twice a year.
But their next-door neighbor knows nothing about Davis-Standard. It's like living in an apartment building where nobody ever says hello.
Well, the PlastiVan helped Davis-Standard say hello to Stonington High School. In an industry struggling for exposure among young people, that's just as important as teaching them about cross-linking and polymers.
Murphy is one of those people you call Jim, even though his business card says James.
And John Adamowicz… You know those types who have been at a company forever, that when you ask what his title, he has to think about it for a minute?