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Local students invited to tour manufacturing facilities

 

  • JOHN KLINE THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — Manufacturing companies from across Elkhart County invited local middle-schoolers into their facilities this week as part of the second annual Elkhart County Manufacturing Week celebration.

The event, which started Monday and will continue through Oct. 11, will provide approximately 1,900 county eighth-graders the opportunity to visit local manufacturers to explore the diverse education and career pathways available in manufacturing today.

According to Chris Stager, vice president of retention and expansion for the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County, Elkhart County Manufacturing Week is actually a localization and expansion of National Manufacturing Day, which this year falls on Friday.

Founded in 2012, National Manufacturing Day is a nationwide annual celebration of modern manufacturing during which manufacturers invite students and educators to visit their operations in a collective effort to showcase manufacturing career opportunities, technological advances and to improve public perceptions of modern manufacturing.

This year, all 10 middle schools in Elkhart County are participating in the event, including: Bethany, Concord, Fairfield, Goshen, Jimtown, North Side, Northridge, Northwood, Pierre Moran and West Side.

“The explosive growth of this event spurred the creation of a new curriculum collaboratively created by Elkhart County school representatives for the students’ continued education of the manufacturing industry,” Stager said of the event. “Parent events will also be held throughout Elkhart County after the company visits in October at each of the participating middle schools. The parent events will provide the opportunity to educate parents and families on the diverse career and financial opportunities available in Elkhart County’s manufacturing facilities.”

Angie Schwartz, a social worker with Goshen Middle School, spoke about the school’s goals for Manufacturing Week while chaperoning a group of GMS eighth-graders on a tour of Lippert Components Plant 228 on Goshen’s south side late Tuesday morning.

“For us, it’s about understanding the manufacturing job from the ground up. So some of the questions the kids have involve what’s needed at entry level, mid-level and upper level for jobs, things like that,” Schwartz said of the event. “Then at the same time, it’s also about getting eighth-graders to start to thinking about what they’re going to do after graduation. And since there is so much manufacturing in this area, it’s a great way to kind of understand what is actually going on and what is available when it comes to career options. And it’s also about kind of understanding what these places are looking for when they’re looking for workers, so really talking about the soft skills – what makes a good worker a good worker – which is like coming to work on time, having a good attitude, wanting to learn, and how those impact a person’s ability to excel in their jobs.”

Francisco Behanmorillo, a 13-year-old Goshen Middle School student, was among the group touring the Lippert plant with Schwartz Tuesday morning.

“It’s interesting, finding out how factories actually work, and not just imagining a bunch of people in an assembly line putting things together, because that’s not always how it is,” Behanmorillo said of the tour. “My dad actually works at a factory, so I’ve been in a factory before. But the way that factory works is very different from the way this one works, so it was fun to learn about this one too.”

According to Stager, one of the main challenges facing manufacturing companies today is a growing gap in skilled labor.

As an example, Stager noted that six out of 10 open skilled manufacturing positions in the U.S. today are unfilled due to this talent shortage.

“Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap,” Stager said of the issue.

Toby Crowley, general manager of Lippert Plant 228, confirmed as much while helping lead Tuesday’s tour of the facility, noting that Elkhart County has been hit particularly hard when it comes to this lack of available, trained manufacturing workers.

“The last report I saw was 35,000 available jobs in Elkhart County,” Crowley said of the predicament. “There are so many new RV manufacturing plants that are going up daily, and yet we still need people to fill the facilities that are already here. So it’s definitely an issue we’re struggling with. That’s why we feel showing the kids they have other options for careers is very important. And we’d love to see some of these kids come to work at Lippert after they graduate.”

Elkhart County Manufacturing Week 2017 is facilitated and funded through the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County and Horizon Education Alliance, with significant financial support from Chemical Bank, Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Insight Accounting, Key Bank, Monogram Foods and Thor Industries.

Additional sponsors include: ABC 57, American Countryside Farmer’s Market, Burkhart Advertising, The Center Six One Five, Dal-mar Catering TLH Inc, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Hawkins Water, Krogers, Maple City Printing, Martin’s Supermarket, Matterhorn Catering, MSC Industrial Supply, Nelson’s Chicken and Catering, Paragon Printing, RV/MH Hall of Fame, Smoker Craft Inc, and the Spohn Ballroom.

The following manufacturers and supporting organizations will host local tours during the week: Actia; Agdia; Alpha Systems; Ancon; Aluminum Trailer Company; Bearcat Corporation; Benteler Automotive; Challenger Door; Commodore Homes; Conn-Selmer; Creative Bus Sales; Dexter Axle; Dometic; Dynamic Metals; Elkhart Plastics; Furrion; GDC; Genesis Products; Goshen Stamping; Hoosier Crane; Indiana Plastics; J&N Stone; Jayco; Kem Krest; Kessington; KIB Electronics; KIK Custom Products; Kobelco Compressors; Kountry Wood Products; L & W Engineering; Lippert Components; Lycro Products; MasterBrand Cabinets; MORryde International; NIBCO; Northern Indiana Axle; Patrick Industries; Reschcor; Robert Weed Plywood; Satellite Industries; Shield Restraint Systems; Smoker Craft; Southwest Welding; Stair Supplies; Tenneco; Thor Motor Coach; Transhield; Universal Trailer; Utilimaster; Veada Industries; Vista Manufacturing; Welch Packaging; and Wieland Designs.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN

 

 

News and Announcements:

Click here to read the October 2017 Newsletter:

 

October 2017 Newsletter

Newsletter
October 2017


The 2017 Wage & Benefit Report is now available!
This year, Elkhart County teamed up with LaGrange County to complete the 2017 Wage & Benefit Report.  Thank you to all 83 companies who participated this year.  The full report is detailed with over 100 job positions from the CEO of a company to housekeeping.
Benefit information covers health insurance plans/costs, time off, retirement plans, financial incentives, production bonus and training opportunities.  For those who did not participate in the survey, a full report is available in PDF version to purchase for $99.  To purchase, please contact Denise Hoke by calling 574-293-5627 or emailing denise@elkhartcountybiz.com .
Attached is information extracted from the 2017 Wage & Benefit Report to create our Summary.  Download PDF
 
If you would like to participate in the 2018 Wage & Benefit Survey and receive a complimentary full report, contact Denise Hoke at denise@elkhartcountybiz.com and she will add you to the list of contacts to receive an email in April 2018.
 
Elkhart County Manufacturing Days
 
Elkhart County, Indiana – Starting Monday, October 2 and continuing through Wednesday, October 11, the second annual Elkhart County Manufacturing Days will provide approximately 1922 8 th grade studentsthe opportunity to visit local manufacturers to explore the diverse education and career path ways available today in manufacturing. Founded in 2012, Manufacturing Day is a nationwide annual celebration of modern manufacturing during which manufacturers invite students and educators to visit their operations in a collective effort to showcase manufacturing career opportunities, technological advances and to improve public perceptions of modern manufacturing. This year, all ten middle schools in Elkhart County are participating in this event, including, Bethany, Concord, Fairfield, Goshen, Jim town, North Side, Northridge, Northwood, Pierre Moran, and West Side.  This explosive growth of this event spurred the creation of a new curriculum collaboratively created by Elkhart County school’s representatives for the student’s continued education of the Manufacturing Industry.  Parent Events will also be held throughout Elkhart County after the company visits in October at each of the participating middle schools.  The Parent Events will provide the opportunity to educate parent and families on the diverse career and financial opportunities available in Elkhart County’s manufacturing facilities.
MFG Week is an opportunity to:
 
* Learn the truth about manufacturing and manufacturing careers
* Inspire a new generation of manufacturers
* Learn what is being made in our community
* Encourage entrepreneurship and inspire creativity
One of the main challenges facing manufacturers today is a growing gap in skilled labor:
* 84% of executives surveyed agree there is a talent shortage in U.S. manufacturing*
* Six out of ten open skilled production positions are unfilled due to this talent shortage*
* Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2
   Million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap*
Students need to know:
 
* Manufacturers have the highest tenure in the private sector.* (National Manufacturer’s Association)
* The annual average salary of manufacturing workers I more than $77,000* (National Manufacturer’s Association)
* 90% of manufacturing workers have medical benefits.* (National Manufacturer’s Association)
* There are many career opportunities within manufacturing – including human resources, accounting, purchasing, logistics, and more!
   This year National Manufacturing Day is Friday, October 6. On this day, manufacturers from across the country will open their doors to those interested in learning about what truly goes on in progressive manufacturing industries, and the great opportunities that are available throughout the industry. Elkhart Manufacturing Week 2017 is  facilitated and funded through the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Horizon Education Alliance (HEA), with significant financial support from Chemical Bank, Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Insight Accounting, Key Bank, Monogram Foods, and Thor Industries. Additional sponsors include: ABC 57, American Countryside Farmer’s Market, Burkhart Advertising, The Center Six One Five, Dal-mar Catering TLH Inc, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Hawkins Water, Krogers, Maple City Printing, Martin’s Supermarket, Matterhorn Catering, MSC Industrial Supply, Nelson’s Chicken and Catering, Paragon Printing, RV/MH Hall of Fame, Smoker Craft Inc, and the Spohn Ballroom. 
The following manufacturers and supporting organizations will host tours:
 
Actia
Agdia
Alpha Systems
Ancon
Aluminum Trailer Company
Bearcat Corporation
Benteler Automotive
Challenger Door
Commodore Homes
Conn-Selmer
Creative Bus Sales
Dexter Axle
Dometic
Dynamic Metals
Elkhart Plastics
Furrion
GDC
Genesis Products
Goshen Stamping
Hoosier Crane
Indiana Plastics
J&N Stone
Jayco
Kem Krest
Kessington
KIB Electronics
KIK Custom Products
Kobelco Compressors
Kountry Wood Products
L & W Engineering
Lippert Components
Lycro Products
MasterBrand Cabinets
MORryde International
NIBCO
Northern Indiana Axle
Patrick Industries
Reschcor
Robert Weed Plywood
Satellite Industries 
Shield Restraint Systems
Smoker Craft
Southwest Welding
Stair Supplies
Tenneco
Thor Motor Coach
Transhield
Universal Trailer
Utilimaster
Veada Industries
Vista Manufacturing
Welch Packaging
Wieland Designs
Manufacturing Week is a unique event which focuses on educating the youth in our county on the opportunities available to them within the manufacturing industry.  If you would like to learn more about National Manufacturing Day and the events nationwide, you can also visit www.mfgday.com  

 

The Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County is a Public-Private Partnership serving the County, Cities, Towns, Businesses, and Residents of Elkhart County.  We are the “One-Stop Shop” for all of your Business Attraction and Expansion needs.  Our Mission is to create an economically vibrant community by recruiting, retaining, and strengthening our economic base; being a catalyst for diversification, innovation, and economic change. We accomplish our mission by working with companies looking to locate or expand in Elkhart County.

 

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