For this year’s Manufacturing Day, both OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee and the OSUIT Advanced Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor will open their doors to showcase the training and career opportunities available in advanced manufacturing.
“Manufacturing Day, this year on Friday Oct. 2, is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers,” said Mike Pierce, assistant dean of the School of Engineering Technologies, which includes the Manufacturing Technologies program.
On the Okmulgee campus, the Manufacturing program will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live demonstrations of equipment including CNC machines, 3D printers and plastic injection molding machines. Tours of the facility will be available during the day as well as episodes playing of the online series Edge Factor, which features creators and manufactures from across the country.
The OSUIT Advanced Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park will take part in a week-long celebration of manufacturing happening throughout the industrial park with a number of companies and training centers participating.
OSUIT-MAIP will host an open house on Thursday Oct. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. and will include demonstrations of manufacturing equipment and presentations by Pryor’s FIRST LEGO League. Instructors and students will be on hand to talk about the center’s training programs as well as employers who will be available to talk about job opportunities.
“MAIP has a full week of events lined up. Employers will have tours available; the park is hosting an educational series for manufacturers focused on recruitment, retention and succession planning; Rogers State University is hosting a chili cook-off benefitting the Mayes County United Way; and Northeast Technology Center and OSUIT are holding open house events,” said Cassity Bixby, OSUIT-MAIP’s outreach specialist.
Pierce said it’s important that OSUIT take part in Manufacturing Day to show how the programs are involved in the local, state and regional manufacturing fields as well as showcase the university’s manufacturing programs to the community and to let them know collegiate level training is right in their backyard.
“One of the main challenges facing manufacturers today is a growing gap in skilled labor. To address this issue, more young people must be inspired to pursue manufacturing careers,” he said. “Having students participate in Manufacturing Day events is a wonderful opportunity to start this conversation and begin ensuring the future of manufacturing in the U.S.”
Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.4 million jobs in the U.S., but while 70 percent of Americans view manufacturing as an important industry, only 17 percent view it as a top career choice, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
“Employers struggle to recruit workers, especially those with technical skills, and the manufacturing industry itself has a reputation for being dirty, low-paying and dangerous. Many people are not aware of the technology involved in today’s manufacturing, the benefits and the earning potential,” Bixby said. “This is a day to recognize those manufacturers and their employees and create a dialogue between them and the general public. This is an opportunity to let everyone know what working in manufacturing is really like today.”
Ultimately, Pierce and Bixby said they hope the people who attend a Manufacturing Day event come away with a new perception and new appreciation of manufacturing and where they can see themselves in it.
“There is a diverse population employed in manufacturing, everything from designers, engineers and salespeople to accountants, welders and machinists,” Bixby said. “There truly is something for everyone and hopefully each person can find something about manufacturing they find exciting.”
Manufacturing Day events
OSUIT Advanced Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park
What: Open house and demonstrations
Where: OSUIT-MAIP, 4059 Redden St., Pryor
When: Thursday Oct. 1 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Those interested in attending can register on the Manufacturing Day website, mfgday.com, or just drop by the day of the event.
OSUIT Manufacturing Program
What: Open house, demonstrations and program tours
Where: OSUIT main campus, 1801 East 4th St.
When: Friday Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Those interested in attending can come to the Manufacturing lab in the Donald W. Reynolds Technology Center.