Louisville, Ky., – From the assembly line to engineering to precision stamping and molding, nearly 150 area students are getting an up close and hands-on view of manufacturing at five companies this week.
The tours were developed by KentuckuckianaWorks and Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana as part of a series of activities during national Manufacturing Month.
Louisville has a diversified and strong manufacturing economy, with companies ranging from automotive, home and appliance, machining, chemicals and engineering. The Louisville region has added 18,000 jobs in manufacturing since the height of the recession in 2009, outpacing the national recovery rate.
“Manufacturing is vital to our local and regional economies, and it’s important that we create a strong pipeline of educated and skilled employees,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “These students are seeing the kind of jobs available in modern manufacturing facilities, seeing people work as teams to make products and learning more about the wide variety of manufacturing jobs that support our local economy.”
The Louisville area has 1,600 manufacturing companies employing approximately 76,000 people and providing an $11 billion impact to the local economy.
Students from Bullitt County, Doss, Fairdale, Iroquois, Jeffersontown and Valley High Schools will tour plants from Oct. 27-29 to learn more about careers in manufacturing and to gather information about training and educational opportunities.
The manufacturing companies hosting the students include:
- Dakkota Integrated Systems, which assembles materials for Ford’s Ky. Truck Plant
- GE Appliance Park
- LG&E Mill Creek Generating Station
- Nth/Works, a stamping company using sensor technology
- Universal Woods, which manufactures branded mezzanine flooring and other products
“We look forward to showcasing our facilities and team to the next generation worker and demonstrate the opportunities for growth and development and the variety of disciplines needed to organize, manage and produce parts,” said Julie Mason, Dakkota Plant Manager. “These students are our next employees and we hope they can walk away with the same excitement and interest in manufacturing that we work with every day.” At each facility, the students will have opportunities to get a first-hand look at manufacturing careers and complete classroom projects.
“This year’s Manufacturing Week celebration allows JA to reach even more students with JA Job Shadows,” said Debra Hoffer, president of Junior Achievement. “The experience of spending time in an actual workplace is extremely impactful for students and helps them to make better decisions in regards to their future careers. Students will have exposure to jobs in manufacturing that have opportunities for advancement, education and a great pay right here in our community. “
As manufacturing is rebounding in the Louisville region, so is the demand by GE and other companies for workers who have greater skills and training.
KentuckianaWorks is currently partnering with GE to provide additional free training classes for Certified Production Technician or CPT, a certification that helps put job seekers at the front of the line for GE jobs that have a starting pay of $15.51 an hour as well as jobs at other manufacturing companies. New training classes are being held in November and December at the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center and at sites in Shelby and Bullitt counties. Persons interested can call (502) 276-9711, ext. 4001.