On manufacturing: October offers ways to learn about how things are made
Happy Manufacturing Day! That's probably not the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about holidays in October. Most people think of the cool, crisp fall air, the fall colors, costumes and trick-or-treating. But if you work or are i...
Happy Manufacturing Day!
That's probably not the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about holidays in October. Most people think of the cool, crisp fall air, the fall colors, costumes and trick-or-treating. But if you work or are involved in manufacturing you may think of another big day in October.
This year Gov. Dayton declared Oct. 1-7 as Minnesota Manufacturing Week, with Friday, Oct. 6 designated as Manufacturing Day. This is also all part of National Manufacturing Month. It all started around 2012 with National Manufacturing Day to highlight the value of manufacturing to the U.S. economy. More than 200 companies took part, and it has expanded into the entire month of October. One of the highlights is the Tour of Manufacturing, where companies across the nation open their doors to students, parents and the public to showcase today's technologically advanced manufacturing industry and the many high-skilled careers available.
Last month I talked about the skills gap and ways to change perceptions about manufacturing. Manufacturing Month and the Tour of Manufacturing are some of the more successful things that are being done. There are a lot of events going on around the state and locally in addition to the many tours that are set up throughout the month all across the state, including the Iron Range STEM Showcase that was held recently in Hibbing. This event has hands-on demonstrations in science, engineering, math and technology-related subjects for students and the general public.
The end result of Manufacturing Week is to try to get kids exposed to the industry and to get them interested and enthused about working in manufacturing. Speaking from experience, there is no substitute for actually seeing the sights and hearing the sounds of making things. To see the technology and automation that's a common sight in shops these days is really impressive; I am still amazed seeing the new technology that's out there and new processes like 3D printing. So if you are able, try to take in a few tours and events around the area and see for yourself. The "Minnesota Dream it. Do it." campaign is spearheading the Tour of Manufacturing in Minnesota, and its website has information on the tours across the state, with some right here in the Arrowhead region. Local manufacturing associations also host tours throughout the year. If you take a tour, I can tell you that you'll walk away impressed.
Jeremy Lehman is the machining production manager at TriTec of Minnesota, a Virginia metal fabricator serving the mining, power, paper and construction industries. He is also the president of Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association, a trade association representing over 100 manufacturers, educators and suppliers in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin. He can be reached at email@example.com .