PA State Representative Lee James, along with Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) President Bob Zaruta and students from Venango Technical Center (VTC), toured Time Machine in Polk (Venango County) in recognition of national Manufacturing Day, with host Cheryl Ferry. Ferry is part of the management team, focusing on operations management, plant scheduling, and continuous improvement. “We’re a small company, so all of us wear many hats,” she said. The tour at this contract manufacturer started with receiving the order and then how it’s processed through the shop- all with a focus on their lean journey and culture of continuous improvement.
VTC School Counselor, Sarah Campbell and Adult Education Coordinator, Carol Miller, along with 7 high school seniors participated in the tour. The students, in programs ranging from computer aided drafting to machine tool technology, were able to see first-hand how the skills they are learning applies to a career at the company. Ferry said they are looking to build their workforce so offer options such as job shadowing, co-ops, and apprenticeships because they weren’t getting the talent coming through the doors. “We are now partnering with schools to be able to show students the opportunities available and that we are a growing business,” she said.
“I am really happy today to take this tour of an important employer in my district,” said Representative James. This year, my staff and I have toured several facilities in Western Pa, engaged in training motivated students for the Trades and manufacturing jobs. Apprentices are shown a path to become experienced journeymen, eligible for family sustaining wages in our area. Time Machine wants these dependable employees on the shop floor,” he said.
“NWIRC arranged several tours this month because our mission is to help small to mid-sized manufacturers in our region grow and become more competitive. Part of that is spreading the word about great career opportunities in our own backyard,” said NWIRC’s Zaruta. NWIRC will also kick off the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing student video contest this month with teacher training. NWIRC serves a 13-county region of northwestern PA with a mission to help manufacturers grow and become more competitive.
Launched annually on the first Friday in October with events continuing throughout the month, MFG Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders. Across the country, manufacturers small and large will be hosting students of all ages in their facilities, showcasing a vibrant and growing industry that is vital to our economy. Manufacturers across the country will open their doors to open more minds and highlight how modern manufacturers are solving tomorrow’s challenges today.
Last year, 275,000 people participated in nearly 3,000 MFG Day events across North America (these are just the events listed on the MFG Day website)—and more than 80 percent of students said they became more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers after attending these events. Pennsylvania celebrates MFG Day during the first week of October. Manufacturing is at the heart of Pennsylvania’s economy:*
- 8th largest manufacturing industry in the United States
• $93.7 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018
• 570,400+ employees
• 18,900+ manufacturing locations
More info can be found at www.MFGDAY.com .
*PA Dept. of L&I, QCEW, 2018 Annual; bea.gov Regional Economic Accounts 2018.