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Made in Williamson: Manufacturing Day 2015


Manufacturers Open Their Doors Friday, Oct. 2 to Educate Public
About Modern-Day Career Opportunities

Williamson, Inc. Economic Development and several Williamson County manufacturers, including APCOM, Austin Bryant Moore, Flash Technology, Horn USA, Scott Fetzer Electrical Group (SFEG) and SME, are joining forces on Friday, Oct. 2 to celebrate National Manufacturing Day as part of a national coordinated effort to change the public’s perception about today’s manufacturing environment and draw attention to the opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide.

Williamson, Inc. Economic Development is coordinating all-day facility tours at three of the participating companies, APCOM, Flash Technology and Horn USA, for students at Fairview High School, where a new Mechatronics program has recently launched. Students will observe demos and simulations, operate state-of-the-art robotics equipment and receive giveaways. Tours begin at 9:30 a.m. and will last an hour. Students, parents, educators, public officials, the business community and the media are invited to attend and connect on social media with the official hashtag #MFGDAY15.

Manufacturing Day is an annual event that occurs on the first Friday in October during which North American manufacturers open their doors to showcase what they do with their communities.

“In Williamson County only 2 percent of all employees work in the manufacturing industry,” said Williamson, Inc.’s Vice President of Economic Development Amanda Murray. “We want to reduce this talent shortage by getting kids to see manufacturing as a viable alternative pathway to success. Manufacturing Day gives us a platform to highlight the incredible options available right here in our backyard.”

Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled; however, 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled due to the complexity is finding skilled workers. Eighty percent of U.S. manufacturers suffer from the talent shortage, and their ability to address this issue has been hindered by the public perception that careers in manufacturing—the nation’s ninth largest economy—are undesirable.

“A common misperception is that manufacturing is a dirty, labor-intensive, monotonous, boring industry,” said Matt Bush, the director of operations at the Fairview-based SFEG plant, a component supplier of home, family and industry finished goods.

SFEG is the largest industry partner for the Fairview High School Mechatronics program, which will train students for well-paid, in-demand engineering jobs. Students will take dual enrollment classes at Columbia State Community College, get hands-on robotics experience at the SFEG facility and receive an Advanced Integrated Industrial Technology (AiiT) certification upon graduation.

Fairview High School Principal Dr. Juli Oyer believes Mechatronics is a win-win solution for students, employers and the local economy.

“Graduating students with a passionate interest in a field blended with true professional experience alongside partners in our community creates a job force that changes the trajectory of growth—in the lives of students and the excellence of Williamson County,” Oyer said.

To learn more about Made in Williamson: Manufacturing Day 2015 or attend a tour, visit williamsonchamber.com/mfgday15 or email Morgan@williamsonchamber.com.

About Williamson, Inc. Economic Development
Williamson, Inc. Economic Development is the single point of contact for the coordination and facilitation of the continued economic development of Williamson County and its six municipalities. Under the umbrella of Williamson, Inc., the county’s chamber of commerce, the department aims to grow Williamson County’s economy and improve the quality of life of residents by partnering with the public and private sectors to implement a six-point, multi-year strategic plan to encourage job and wealth creation. Visit us on the web at www.williamsonchamber.com/economic-development.

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