By Guest Blogger, Brian Flores, Sandvik Coromant
Fresh graduates may be clamoring for jobs these days, but many are missing out on a career path in a booming industry they may not have even considered.
The dearth of young people pursuing US manufacturing jobs has led major players in the industry to act. In the past five years, the industry has generated 640,000 jobs. Their challenge now is to shift the image from monotonous, dead end jobs in factories to the lucrative, high tech careers that are now possible – and to get students, teachers and school counselors to see the possibilities.
Industry organizations from machine builders to media and technology associations are investing heavily in attracting students. One such company is a supplier of metalworking tools, Sandvik Coromant. The company sponsors outreach events and innovative learning experiences to show kids what could be in store for them if they’re into math, science or computers.
This year, they’re trying something new – a virtual field trip designed for classroom viewing and curriculum integration, available to anyone with an internet connection and free for teachers. For 30 minutes, participants of the trip – dubbed Technology Applied – will be transported to the largest manufacturing expo in the country, which is held every two years in Chicago. They’ll see new technologies like 3D additive printing for aerospace manufacturing, how helicopters get engineered and the tech inside racecars. They’ll be able to ask questions via a live chat. And connections will be made between what they’re learning in school and what they could – literally – produce with that education.
The virtual field trip is fun and fast paced and is appropriate for grades 5-12, college and tech school. Live broadcasts are on September 10, 11 and 12. Registration information is found here: http://inxpo.com/events/technologyapplied
“The US is still the single largest manufacturing economy in the world,” says JoAnn Mitchell of Sandvik Coromant, who conceived and planned Technology Applied. “We make the products people depend on every day from smartphones to knee replacements to water pollution control equipment to airplanes. The skills in math and science as well as in communication are all critical skills in manufacturing careers. What people are learning right now in high school – those Cartesian coordinates in geometry and some solid algebra – are the roots of the language a machine tool speaks.”
On Manufacturing Day on October 4, Sandvik Coromant will be one of 1,500 US businesses to open their facilities to students, parents and teachers. People may be surprised to find modern shops are a far cry from the impressions of dark and dirty factories they may have had.