In our steadfast commitment to partner with our community, we work to educate our community about the manufacturing industry, what we do at French, the types of careers available in our organization and the skills needed for those positions. As part of this ongoing effort we participated in Manufacturing Day this year, as we have since 2014.
In the span of four weeks we will host three different adult and student groups for facility tours and engineering presentations. We first hosted 30 members of the Society for Industrial Archaeology as part of their annual Fall tour. We then hosted 85 students from the Piqua High School’s new Success Bound program that gives students early career education. Mid October we will host 25 students from the Upper Valley Career Center’s Manufacturing and Machining programs, as well as the Manufacturing Growth Specialist from FastLane, West Central Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
Why is Manufacturing Education So Important in Our Region?
According to the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association (OMA) “Manufacturing Counts” document, the number of manufacturing jobs in our county, Miami County, is almost twice that of the national average. 20% of the jobs in our county are manufacturing jobs, compared to 12% throughout the state. In Shelby County, the county just north of us, this figure is 37.5%.
There are 204 manufacturing establishments in Miami County, and almost 1,500 in the surrounding counties, employing close to 70,000 workers.
The average annual earnings of Ohio machinery manufacturing workers in 2016 were $61,157. This equates to just under $30 per hour based on a 40 hour work week. This provides a quality lifestyle for manufacturing workers and their families.
Fortunately, the manufacturing industry in Ohio is growing. Ohio had 9,200 more manufacturing employees in 2017 than in 2016.
A majority of manufacturing companies are small in size. 64% of Ohio manufacturing businesses have less than 20 employees. Those entering the workforce may be inclined to seek employment with a business they are familiar with, however a majority of the manufacturing establishments may not be on their radar. Don’t underestimate the smaller businesses.
Machine shops are the largest category of Ohio manufacturing establishments. In the Piqua area we are fortunate to have resources like the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) that offer programs to give students the training needed to fill these jobs. UVCC also has adult education programs for those looking to enter the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing is a major factor in Ohio’s economic status, as it is the largest of the 20 sectors of the state’s economy. In addition, Ohio manufacturing is responsible for almost 17% of our state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We rank third in the nation for manufacturing output, behind California and Texas.
Additional Resources for Manufacturing Education
As MFG Day and it’s mission continue to gain traction and awareness, we continually see more resources available for manufacturing education.
PTC, an industrial innovation platform, recently debuted a Smart Manufacturing comic book and app that shows how various technology advancements are transforming the manufacturing industry. App users can follow the story of superheroes manufacturing a drone while making decisions on manufacturing production, like product design and service.
The MFG Day website also has a number of additional resources like the Dream It. Do It. program’s “An Introduction to Manufacturing” guide for students in grades 6-12.
Links to virtual MFG Day events like the Arconic Foundation and Discovery Education’s virtual field trips can be accessed at any time, allowing educators, students and parents to continue manufacturing education throughout the year.
We encourage you to use these tools inspire the next generation of the manufacturing workforce!