College is a great option for students, but a four-year degree isn’t the only path to success. A career in manufacturing is also a great option, especially for individuals who enjoy working with their hands.
And that’s what Macomb County’s Manufacturing Day event is all about. This annual event, which began 10 years ago, works to educate students about careers in the county’s booming manufacturing industry.
“This interactive day allows high school students and parents to see the opportunity and excitement that exists in various manufacturing fields,” says Shannon Williams, the Career and Technical Education Consultant for the Macomb Intermediate School District. “Participating in Manufacturing Day allows students to see many different career paths in action, from designer, to engineer, to machine tool operator.”
Manufacturing Day 2022
After two years with virtual elements, this year’s Manufacturing Day returned to an in-person format and featured on-site tours of manufacturing businesses in Macomb County for high school students.
“We’ve found that hosting this event in person is so much better than virtually,” Williams says. “Students can actually walk around the shops, and there are lots of hands-on activities for students to do that they can’t do in a virtual setting. In person, they really see the size and scope of what actually goes on in these manufacturing facilities.”
In addition to returning to in-person, this year’s event also spread the programming across five days instead of one.
“This year, in order to accommodate more flexibility for schools and businesses, instead of tours going out on Friday, we celebrated it all week long,” Williams adds. “It all added up to 79 tours that went out throughout the week.”
There were more than 50 participating facilities specialized in everything from automobile engineering to tool cutting, plastic molding, IT, marketing, toolmaking, robotics and much more. Participating students were led through the factories to see what happens behind the scenes, talked to the professionals who work there and got their questions about manufacturing careers answered.
“We went to TEMO, Inc on M-59 and heard from their owner on how he started the company in his garage. We went to KUKA Robotics Corporation and the students were able to actually manipulate the robots,” Williams explains. “At Medbio, medical students got to tour the facility and see medical equipment and BAE systems let students see the inside of a tank.”
Manufacturing Day 2022 ran Oct. 3-7, 2022. It is always free to all students and not limited to Macomb County students. Students who did not get to participate this year can get on the list for next year’s event by coordinating with their school’s guidance counselor.
Manufacturing Day is part of the Fueling the Talent Pipeline initiative. As partners, MISD informs the schools about the opportunity and coordinates the matchmaking. Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development recruits and supports the host sites and raises funds to cover expenses through sponsorship.