THE FUTURE MAKERS & CREATORS TOUR BEGINS ITS JOURNEY IN SOUTH JERSEY
THE TOUR’S KICKOFF BEGAN AT PLEASANTVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WHERE 600 STUDENTS TINKERED AND TOOLED WITH MODERN MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES
BRINGING MODERN MANUFACTURING TO NEW JERSEY’S YOUTH
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program’s (NJMEP) Future Makers and Creators Tour—an initiative brought into existence by NJMEP with support from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), is offering a unique opportunity for schools and students in New Jersey to learn about and experience modern manufacturing firsthand. NJMEP will be traveling to schools in all 21 New Jersey counties bringing the latest advanced manufacturing technologies to students all over the Garden State. Students will hear directly from local manufacturers in their area, learn about the industry, and get to connect with employers, giving local manufacturing businesses the chance to get to know and engage directly with their future workforce.
Manufacturing is expected to have nearly 4 million job vacancies over the next decade, so it’s more important than ever for the industry and educators to offer New Jersey’s youth alternatives to the traditional four-year institution. The goal of The Future Makers & Creators Tour is to educate and inspire the manufacturing workforce of the future.
KICKOFF IN SOUTH JERSEY
The first stop along The Future Makers & Creators Tour began at Pleasantville Public Schools on December 12th and showcased advanced manufacturing technologies and careers to over 600 eager 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, giving them a chance to see modern manufacturing in action.
“Manufacturing in Spanish is fabricación,” explained Dr. Marilyn Martinez, Superintendent of Schools, to hundreds of culturally and economically diverse students. “It’s a way that you can create and make possible your dreams.”
“Manufacturers who participate in The Future Makers & Creators Tour will have the opportunity to inspire and attract the next generation of manufacturing professionals”, said Larry Banks, Project Manager and head of NJMEP’s PEN team. “Schools that take part in the tour will have the opportunity to engage directly with these manufacturers who can provide their insights and real-world experience regarding alternative career paths in advanced manufacturing.”
TINKERING AND TOOLING WITH MODERN MANUFACTURING
Once opening remarks concluded, Pleasantville Students broke down into class-sized groups and made their way through the Makers & Creators event, taking time at each station to share remarks with industry professionals and gather insights into their background and experience in manufacturing. Whether they were competing to get the best welds on the Augmented Reality ARC Welding machine, were listening intently to NJMEP Staff Trainers explain how to program and use a HAAS PLC powered Desktop Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) mill or robotic arm, or were simply mesmerized by the 3D Printers that were actively making Geary Mascot baubles on-site, students spent their morning engaged and participating in everything that advanced manufacturing has to offer.
COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU
Manufacturers participating in The Future Makers & Creators Tour will have the opportunity to inspire and attract the next generation of manufacturing professionals, and schools that take part in the tour will have the opportunity to engage directly with these manufacturers who can provide their insights and real-world experience regarding alternative career paths in advanced manufacturing. NJMEP CEO Peter Connolly shares his thoughts on the invaluable exposure this program can have on certain students’ undecided or uncertain futures.
“Connecting with students who have yet to make up their minds about a career path is invaluable when showing the real value the manufacturing industry has to offer them and their families,” says Connolly. “The first stop on the Future Makers and Creators Tour proved that young students are interested and can be incredibly engaged when learning about this field that’s so vital to our way of life and our nation. Seeing these students smile and watching their eyes be opened to advanced manufacturing as they tried their hand at Augmented Reality welding, experienced 3D Printing in action, and connecting them directly with local manufacturers was beyond amazing,” explained Connolly, bubbling with enthusiasm and excitement. “We will be visiting at least 21 schools in every county throughout New Jersey during this tour, all impossible without support from the NJEDA. The Future Makers and Creators Tour will have a long-lasting impact on the manufacturing industry. Without this kind of action, the industry will not have a passionate workforce to connect with as manufacturing continues to grow in New Jersey,” he adds.
Want to learn more about the program or get involved? Head to The Future Makers & Creators Landing Page to learn how you can contribute to this initiative as a manufacturer, media outlet, or how you can enroll your school in the program and become a stop along The Future Makers & Creators Tour!