National Manufacturing Day is returning for Char-Em ISD high school students!

Regional manufacturing facilities will open their doors for student tours Oct. 8-10, 2019

‘Several students even asked for employment applications to fill out for when they graduated. We’re very excited to participate in the event again this year.’
– Luke Manthei, The Manthei Group, Petoskey

 Char-Em Intermediate School District juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to tour some of the region’s most unique and important manufacturing facilities Oct. 8-10, 2019, as National Manufacturing Day returns to Northern Michigan. Tours will take place during the school day at numerous plants in Charlevoix, Emmet and Antrim counties, as well as a few in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties near to the ISD’s northern districts.

National Manufacturing Day is a national effort to promote manufacturing jobs to high school students as a post-secondary career path option and to create awareness about the important role of manufacturers in communities.

“Area high school students will be able to learn first-hand about the skills they’ll need to enter the manufacturing work force. They’ll also get a look at the high-paying, in-demand job opportunities right here in Northern Michigan,” said Jim Rummer, Director of Career and Technical Education for Char-Em ISD. “Our mission is to ensure local students are career and college ready. This is one event that we hope captures the attention of those students who are interested in going into the work force right out of high school, potentially at one of these incredible companies in our own back yard.”

A committee of representatives from Char-Em ISD’s Career and Technical Education team, the Boyne City, Charlevoix, East Jordan and Petoskey Regional chambers of commerce, Northwest Michigan Industrial Association, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance staff, Northwest Michigan Works!, school administrators and counselors has been working to pull together the tours of more than 20 sites that will include hundreds of students.

Luke Manthei has been one of the collaborators to bring MFG Day to Northern Michigan. His family owns The Manthei Group, which includes Manthei Veneer in Petoskey, and Aster Brands and MDC Contracting in Charlevoix.

“In 2018, Manthei Veneer and Aster Brands were thrilled to host over 100 students from the local schools for Manufacturing Day. We had so many students surprised by and interested in the products we make and the processes involved,” Manthei said. “Several students even asked for employment applications to fill out for when they graduated. We’re very excited to participate in the event again this year.”

Participating manufacturers for 2019 currently include: 

Antrim County:

Bellaire: Anchor Lamina

Central Lake: Armor Express

Charlevoix County:

Boyne City: Industrial Magnetics Inc., Lexamar, Outline Industries, Precision Edge, SCC Skis LLC “Shaggy’s”

Charlevoix: A.L.P., Aster Brands/Redi-Rock, DCL, Harbor Industries, MDC Contracting, St. Mary’s Cement

East Jordan: Burnette Foods, EJ Water Products Facility, EJ Plastics

Emmet County:

Harbor Springs: Central Industrial, Jervis Webb/Daifuku, Lanzen, Moeller Aerospace

Petoskey: Circuit Controls Corp., Manthei Veneer, Mitchell Graphics, Petoskey Plastics

Cheboygan County: TubeFab (Afton) and Link Industries (Indian River)

Presque Isle County: Moran Iron Works, Onaway

 (Additional manufacturers may be added.)

Mary Faculak, President/CEO of the East Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said her organization is proud to be participating in making National Manufacturing Day a reality locally. “We are so fortunate to have world-class industries in our region that provide excellent career choices and work environments in one of the finest areas to live, raise families and enjoy a superior quality of life. This introduction to our local manufacturers certainly may turn out to be a life changing experience for our area students,” she noted.

More details will be made available to Char-Em ISD schools, including how high school students may register for the tours. Transportation will be provided by the local school districts.  Questions may be directed to high school counselors or by calling Tory Thrush, Char-Em ISD Career/College Readiness Liaison, at (231) 582-8070.

National Manufacturing Day is held throughout the country on the first Friday of October.  

Sidebar: About national ‘MFG Day’

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it is not. By working together during and after MFG Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

MFG Day is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

Created by Founding Partner Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International in 2012, MFG Day has enjoyed support from many organizations aligned with its mission of positively changing the public perception of modern manufacturing. Organizations that have played a vital role in working with FMA to successfully grow this national celebration of all things manufacturing include the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

More information:

Sidebar: Study Shows Manufacturing Day Has Big Impact on Student Perceptions

Just how much of an impact is Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) having on students’ perceptions of manufacturing? Cumulatively, the effects over the years have been quite substantial — and continue to trend upward.

The latest study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute on MFG Day’s effects on student perceptions of manufacturing found:

  • 84 percent of students who attended MFG Day events emerged “more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding.”
  • 71 percent of student attendees said that they “were more likely to tell friends, family, parents, or colleagues about manufacturing after attending an event,” meaning that they weren’t just convinced — they were inspired.
  • 64 percent of surveyed student event participants said that they “were more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing.”

Based on a projected 267,607 student attendance figure, that’s:

  • 224,290 students with a better perception of manufacturing careers
  • 190,001 students talking to friends and family about manufacturing
  • 171,268 students thinking about joining the manufacturing team

While that’s not enough to close the projected gap of 2 million unfilled positions manufacturers in the U.S. will be faced with in 2025, it’s a strong start. By having an MFG Day every year — and continuing to increase participation across the U.S. — this effort can inspire a whole new generation of manufacturers.

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