Students, mentors and civic stakeholders tour Toyota Bodine Aluminum on Oct. 7, 2016, National Manufacturing Day.
What do you get when you engage 60 students, mentors, civic stakeholders and manufacturers? A recipe to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
That's what Manufacturing Day is all about.
More than 2,300 manufacturers from across the nation joined Toyota Bodine Aluminum (a division of Toyota Motor North America No. 34 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity) by opening their doors to offer students insightful, onsite experiences and educate them about potential careers in manufacturing.
"Seeing is believing! Often times a stigma exists among young people that manufacturing is a dark and dirty environment. Manufacturing Day is designed to offer students a positive perception of manufacturing and open their eyes to the highly technical environment that exists among the majority of manufacturers today," said Wes Woods, general manager administration at Toyota Bodine.
Manufacturing Day activities like the one at Toyota Bodine not only foster positive perceptions of industry, but they also provide a chance for students to see various manufacturing career options that are innovative and impactful. An estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled over the next decade due to a company's inability to find talent with necessary technical skills.
Since manufacturers make what matters, Toyota Bodine teamed up with two other local manufacturers, Elite Tool and Die and Menne Tool and Die; state and local chambers, educators, state leaders, and civic partners to host this year's event.
"The number one thing I hear from business owners across my district is a need for technically-educated employees. This partnership between Bodine and local employers, along with the State Technical College, solution that can be used statewide," said Missouri Senator Jeanie Riddle.
Following Manufacturing Day, participating students will compete in a video competition spearheaded by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Dream It Do It to highlight "What's SoCool About Manufacturing?" Students will create videos featuring local manufacturing facilities. The contest is designed to help students get a first-hand look at the opportunities that manufacturing careers provide.
Toyota Bodine Aluminum is committed to developing skills and career opportunities for students in the region through donations and programs such as the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program and cooperative learning partnerships with colleges.