A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Gateway’s Manufacturing Expo: Students explore range of opportunities for careers in manufacturing

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Over 100 high school students and instructors attended the 2017 Manufacturing Expo at Gateway’s Boone Campus. Gateway Community & Technical College, Partners for a Competitive Workforce, Northern Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (NKY FAME), and the Advanced Manufacturers Workforce Development Coalition provided an opportunity for students to explore career options in manufacturing.

“Gateway is pleased to join our industry partners and host this event,” said Fernando Figueroa, president of Gateway Community & Technical College. “We are here to train and develop the talent that will create the workforce of tomorrow.”

The Northern Kentucky Industrial Park Industry Partnership estimates vacancies could reach 2,500 in three years and 6,250 in 10 years.  Organizers want to create a pipeline for these jobs and show high school students how exciting a career in manufacturing can be.

“Manufacturers are seeking skilled workers. The jobs pay well and, offer benefits and a stable career paths,” says Debby Combs, director, Industry Partnerships with Partners for a Competitive Workforce. “The key is to have the skills to get the jobs.”

Students and teachers from Campbell, Connor, Dayton, Dixie Heights, Gallatin County, Grant County, Owen County, Ryle and Simon Kenton high schools were interested and wanted to know more.

The interest was developed in a summer teacher externship program where high school teachers of various subject areas, with an interest in incorporating advanced manufacturing skills in their classes, attended summer workshops at Gateway and participating manufacturing plants. Teachers took what they learned this summer back to the classroom. Their students who have expressed an interest in advanced manufacturing careers attended the event today to learn first-hand from employers and Gateway instructors what it takes to begin a career in manufacturing.

Students spoke with local manufacturers including Bosch, Armor, Perfetti VanMelle, Safran, Hahn, Indy Honeycomb, Mubea, L’Oreal, Dana and NKY FAME to learn more about the field and employment at their companies. In addition, they toured Gateway’s high-tech campus and manufacturing programs, including mechatronics, robotics, machine shop and welding demonstrations. They also informed students how they can attend Gateway at a reduced rate or at no cost through apprenticeship programs, in which students may work full-time and attend classes part-time, and financial aid. 

Gateway offers credentials and certification in electrical technology, machining, mechatronics, welding, industrial technology and related areas. The training prepares students for immediate entry into the job market, or to pursue more education, including four-year engineering degrees.

For more information about Gateway programs, contact Dee Wright, Dean of Manufacturing and Engineering at 859-442-1168 or deed.wright@kctcs.edu.

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