On Friday, October 5, 2012 over 200 manufacturing companies from California to Connecticut celebrated the first annual National Manufacturing Day. Once thought of as a diminishing industry, manufacturing is making a comeback. And, this renaissance is creating new job opportunities for technically trained high-school and college graduates.
There were some big names on the roster last Friday including Alcoa, Volvo, GE and a perennial Pennsylvania favorite, Harley-Davidson. The participating manufacturers represented a wide-range of industries including, food and beverage, medical, metal fabrication, plastics, automotive and communications equipment.
The Rodon Group tours were well-attended by students, school and government administrators as well as company representatives. After a light snack, the attendees were treated to a brief presentation on manufacturing and a 45 minute tour of our 125,000 square foot plant.
Tour guides, Kevin McGrath and Lowell Allen worked to educate the teenagers about the benefits of careers in Manufacturing. This message was reinforced by others on the tour who specialize in manufacturing job placement.
"We have seen first hand the resurgence of manufacturing in this county. As a plastic injection molder, we witnessed a migration of business to China during the 1980's and 1990's. With increased wages in China and the price of transportation, companies are returning their manufacturing needs to the states. At Rodon, our investment in advanced technology and more efficient equipment has given us a competitive edge over Chinese manufacturers, so we are well poised in this new economic environment." Kevin continued, "There is a great deal of opportunity in manufacturing careers. These jobs are solid, well-paying, long-term careers. Most of our employees have been with us for an average of 14 years. Even longer for managers."
Lowell Allen added "For us, it comes down to hiring the best and the brightest to build the future of our company. We need high-school graduates with a good base in math, science and technology. Today's manufacturing environment is much more sophisticated and requires a higher degree of skill from its employees."
The students and administrators in attendance represented most of the technical programs throughout the area including North Montco Technical Career Center, Bucks County Technical High School, Middle Bucks Institute of Technology, Montgomery County Community College and Upper Bucks Technical School.
According to Jill Worth, Marketing and Web Communications Specialist, "We are committed as a company to getting the word out about the importance of STEM education. And, our sister company K'NEX, is focused on helping children create and build through their line of construction toys. Many of these kids have gone on to pursue careers in engineering and the sciences. Children today need to understand all available career options and gain the knowledge needed to pursue their dreams."
The Rodon Group was proud to participate in Manufacturing Day and we look forward to next year's event. In the meantime, we plan to continue to engage with our educational and corporate partners sending the message that manufacturing is a stable and lucrative career choice.
Here are some statistics to keep in mind when considering a career in Manufacturing.*
STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17% through 2018. This compares to a 9.8% growth for non-STEM jobs.
STEM jobs pay on average 26% more than non-STEM jobs.
STEM workers experience lower unemployment rates and better benefits.
Each manufacturing job supports an of average of 2.9 other jobs in the economy.
*Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration.
You can view more photos of the event on our Facebook page here.