More than 200 plastics companies opened their doors Oct. 5 to students, educators, job seekers and their greater communities for Manufacturing Day, a national event meant to inspire and motivate a new generation of manufacturers.
The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute produce Manufacturing Day. The Plastics Industry Association has sponsored the event for the last six years, the last two as a gold sponsor. Other sponsors include PTC, Ariel Corp., Cooper Standard, Harley-Davidson, PepsiCo Inc., Samsung Electronics and Walmart Inc.
"Our industry is facing a workforce crisis — with far more jobs open than we have people to fill them. It's a challenge all manufacturers are tackling, but it also presents promising opportunities for those looking for a meaningful, rewarding career," NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, who also serves as board chairman of the Manufacturing Institute, said in a statement.
El Paso, Texas-based custom injection molder Plastic Molding Technology Inc. held its fifth Manufacturing Day for around 100 attendees, which included students from the University of Texas at El Paso supply chain and operations management organization, Pebble Hills High School and Riverside High School. Students were shown an overview video of the company and then split into two groups.
Those on the facility tour visited different aspects of the operations, from the floor to the engineering department to quality lab. Those in the training room participated in a robotics demonstration and career fair with jobs, apprenticeships and internships.
"We feel it's really important to be involved in Manufacturing Day because a lot of students in our area — and across the nation, really — don't really have a great understanding of the manufacturing industry," said Jennifer Perez, marketing communications specialist for PMT. "The same with maybe their teachers and career counselors. A lot of times they don't know that we're here, so we really like to build up our presence with Manufacturing Day to help students see that there are great career options here in El Paso for them — whether they want to go to college, whether they want to go straight into an apprenticeship after high school — there are lots of options."