Education, community and industry partners are coming together to coordinate a Manufacturing Day event on Friday, October 12 at Bay College West Campus (Bay West) as a part of a campaign titled, “Heavy Metal Tours.” The purpose of this campaign is to proactively educate students and the community about the skilled trades and technical career opportunities that exist locally.
Manufacturing Day will include 380 freshman students from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Norway, North Dickinson and Florence. Students will partake in a round-robin of hands-on activities including a Kleenex assembly, the marshmallow challenge and constructing card towers to name a few. Participating businesses include Lakeshore Systems, BOSS Snowplow, Systems Control, Loadmaster, and CCI Systems.
Dickinson County currently boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the Upper Peninsula at 3.8% with 20% of the workforce falling under the manufacturing field. “Our employers are not only faced with the challenge of baby boomer retirements, but it is estimated we will be adding over 650 new jobs in the area within the next three to five years. We have to be proactive,” shared Lois Ellis, Director of the Dickinson County Economic Development Alliance (The Alliance).
The Alliance, Bay West, Northern Initiatives and Michigan Works! are all contributing time, treasures and talents to make this a successful event for the students. “We need to inform our students and their families that technical and skilled trade careers offer excellent wages. There is significant opportunity to grow and you don’t need to put yourself into years of debt,” said Gina Wollner, Manager of Business Development at Bay West.
Manufacturing Day is the first event within a larger effort to educate the community on our workforce shortage and the opportunities that exist for young people. For more information, visitwww.heavymetaltours.com.