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Chicago Southland Manufacturing Day event sees exponential growth


The event has grown significantly from its inception three years ago with only 60 students from three high schools and a half dozen companies.

This year, nearly 350 students gathered to hear a presentation from public and private leaders about the opportunities in manufacturing careers in the region. Afterwards, school groups toured participating companies where the students had opportunities to dialogue about their potential role in this growing workforce sector. Students also met with college representatives to learn about industry-specific training, education and resources.

The goal was to celebrate modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers by connecting high school students with manufacturing companies.

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after Manufacturing Day, manufacturers will continue to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

“The key to the success of Manufacturing Day is the participation of schools and manufacturing companies,” said SSMMA and CSEDC Economic Director Reggie Greenwood. He has spent the past five years meeting with manufacturing business leaders to convince them to invest in the region’s future workforce by adopting schools, mentoring students and sponsoring robotics challenges.

The Chicago Southland Manufacturing Day event was held in partnership with national MFG Day, OAI, Inc. the Calumet Green Manufacturing Partnership, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, Prairie State College, South Suburban College, Moraine Valley Community College, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), the Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing (INAM) and the schools and companies listed here.  Related stories are here in the Tribune/Daily Southtown and here in the Southland Voice.

More photos are here.

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