Apprenticeships Workforce Development

Breaking Down Outdated Stigmas by Giving Students Hands-On Experience with Industry Leaders 

Engineering Week Connects Students and Manufacturing 

Engineering Week is an incredible opportunity for manufacturing leaders to promote modern engineering while breaking down the stigmas associated with manufacturing careers. NJMEP celebrated by providing a platform for young adults and industry leaders to connect. High school students, school administrators, and manufacturing leaders throughout the Garden State attended NJMEP’s Engineering Week event on February 23 at the Chris DePace Training Facility in Bellmawr, NJ. Nearly 100 students from New Jersey School Districts filled the training facility for the opportunity to get a hands-on experience engaging with members in the manufacturing community to see the value of a career in the industrial field. 

Christian Mdeway, Director of Workforce Development and Pro-Action Education Network addresses the students visiting NJMEP’s Chris DePace Training Facility in Bellmawr, NJ for Engineering Week

Workforce challenges are one of the biggest issues impacting the industry. This celebration gave manufacturers a chance to show the future workforce there are plenty of sustainable career options that don’t necessarily require a college degree. Tarik Ross, Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum Structural Engineer, and Patricia Clark, Lockheed Martin’s Naval Combat and Missile Defense Chief Engineer, were among the invited guest speakers who told their stories to connect with the diverse group of students. 

Additionally, representatives from Holtec International Inc., Edmunds Optics and Firmenich discussed the benefits of having an industrial career. Manufacturing is a STEM-driven industry, and New Jersey is home to over 11,000 manufacturing companies. There are plenty of competitive career opportunities, and the average manufacturing salary is $97,000 here in New Jersey.   

This event sparked interest and understanding in engineering and STEM-related careers for the young adults in attendance. Students got to experience NJMEP’s state-of-the-art Augmented Arc Welding simulator and CNC machines. They also watched demonstrations from Fizzy Labs and Rowan University. All the exhibitions introduced students to real manufacturing experiences. 

Engineering Week was originally created by the National Society for Professional Engineers to cultivate a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce. Events like this one bridge students with industry leaders so they’re aware of the many career paths available in the manufacturing sector.  

Without these events and training programs offered by NJMEP, many students may not realize the advanced skillset required and sustainable income associated with manufacturing careers. NJMEP will continue hosting successful events like Engineering Week since they are crucial to showing the benefits of a manufacturing career to students unsure of their futures while showcasing the importance ‘MADE in New Jersey’ is to the state and the country. The future of our industrial workforce contributes towards the state’s overall economic growth. 

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