Dayton Region Manufacturers Association Promotes Industry to Local Schools
The number one concern of many Dayton region manufactures is the shortage of skilled workers. This shortage is from entry level positions to skilled trades and even into professional positions. Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) knows there are considerable resources available to support training through the career technology centers, community colleges, and universities throughout Ohio. However, what all of these institutions lack is sufficient enrollment to make the programs truly effective and meaningful for the manufacturers as their demands for talent far outweigh the number of graduates.
DRMA has decided that one of the most effective ways to make a difference in the long-term success of the manufacturing workforce is to raise awareness of the great training and careers in manufacturing to middle and high school aged students.
As part of DRMA’s career outreach to students, they have developed a program called Power Lunches. The exhibit is designed to catch the attention of students so that DRMA volunteers can talk to them about various careers in manufacturing, wage and salary information, and training and education paths. DRMA partners with FASTLANE, the Montgomery County Education Service Center, and the Aerospace Professional Development Center on this initiative.
This program was originally designed to create as little interference to the student’s day as possible to explain the benefits of considering a career in modern manufacturing (similar to what military recruiters are doing). DRMA also takes their display to career fairs and other student events. They present two displays: one for Middle School students and one for High School students.
The Middle School display contains a “pro-sumer” grade 3D printer and a small CNC milling machine along with a bookmark with information about modern manufacturing careers. By using both additive manufacturing (the future) and subtractive manufacturing (the current state) technologies DMRA is able to convey an accurate message of the needs and opportunities available in manufacturing now and into the future.
The High School display contains a trifold poster with information on careers in manufacturing, a manufacturing video playing on a TV monitor, a student brochure, a sign-up sheet for students who are interested in job shadowing, touring a facility, internships, etc. They also have a giveaway sponsored by a local manufacturing company to give the students. Manufacturer volunteers have the option of bringing items to represent their companies as well.
DRMA’s members volunteer at these displays and use the Association’s talking points to ensure we have a unified message about careers in manufacturing. The goal is to schedule one Power Lunch a week throughout the Dayton Region. Planting ‘the seed’ of a manufacturing career one student at a time.
Contributed by: Hadassah Roberts
Administrative & Events Specialist
Dayton Region Manufacturers Association
For more information, contact Hadassah Roberts at the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association, 937.949.4000.