A New Generation of Manufacturers
Serving on the advisory board for Careerline Tech Center’s mechatronics program since September, President Jeremy Wright and Vice President Troy Morhland looked forward to welcoming eighty seventh-grade students to the office as a part of Discover Manufacturing Week, a ”hands-on, region-specific collaborative in West Michigan tasked with addressing the talent needs of manufacturing in the region.”
“Manufacturers in Michigan account for 19.38% of the total output in the state, employing 14.24% of the workforce.”-National Association of Manufacturers
Through a series of open forums, Ottawa County businesses and community leaders developed seven Skills4Success to guide employees in our area. As students went through our tour, we highlighted how these skills are a vital part of the job at Hyperion.
- Technology Literacy
- Collaboration & Collaboration Thinking
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
- Flexibility & Adaptability
- Ethical Leadership
- Personal Accountability
Employees are aging out of the manufacturing industry at an alarming rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Nearly one-fourth of the manufacturing workforce is age 55 or older.” In response to these statistics and the projected labor shortage, “we made careers in automation the overarching topic,” said Wright. During the tour, he focused on careers in engineering while Mohrland dove into assembly jobs.
Wright continues, “In addition to careers, we discussed the many different paths you can take into the field—from robotics programs in schools, to trade programs, co-ops, the military, college and on-the-job training.”
We were also excited to share with the students how automation influences everyday activities. We discussed how cells are designed, assembled, and commissioned before diving into robotics and machine vision.
Winding-up Our Wednesday
As the middle schoolers piled back into the bus (hyped up on sugar, complimentary stress balls and science), the Hyperion staff was sad to see them go. Hopefully we’ll see some of them again before too long—next time with resumes.