PREBLE COUNTY — Preble County Manufacturing Days were held on Wednesday, Nov. 20, Thursday, Nov. 21, and Friday, Nov. 22. Manufacturers visited included: Pratt Lewisburg Corrugator, Silfex, Parker Hannifin, DuPont, Henny Penny, TimkenSteel, Neaton, Cargill, and Bullen Ultrasonics.
During Manufacturing Days, students from all five school districts in Preble County are taken to different local manufacturers. There they meet with employees and learn what their jobs are and how they got where they are today. This is meant to show students some of the career options available in Preble County after high school.
According to Preble County Economic Development Partnership (PCDP) Director Brenda Latanza, Manufacturing Days wouldn’t have been possible without cooperation from all companies visited, all five school districts, L&M Products for use of their facility, Christy Montoya with the Farm Bureau, Edison State Community College, Ohio Job and Family Services, and anyone else involved in the organization or execution of Manufacturing Days.
“Manufacturing Days in Preble County is held annually on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the week prior to Thanksgiving. Manufacturing Days helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging our local companies to open their doors to students, teachers, and community leaders. Preble County has been participating in this national effort for six years through the coordination of the Preble County Development Partnership’s Workforce Development Committee,” Latanza said.
“Manufacturing Days addresses frequent misconceptions 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. During these three days, manufacturers address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with the emerging workforce, display an accurate image of manufacturing, and talk with the students about the diverse career opportunities right here in Preble County.
“This is one way to prepare for the future by engaging with the workforce of tomorrow today!”
For Twin Valley Middle/High School Principal Derek Flatter, it is important to expose students to different career options within the area and help students make connections now to better their future.
“You can’t beat being in the actual space they could see themselves in and talking to real professionals, not just hearing it from us who are professionals in different areas,” he said. “We hope [the students] are able to meet some people that they can relate to, that maybe — in the future, they will be able to connect with.
“I also hope they see the importance of the things we are doing in the classroom [to prepare them for their futures].”
TVS Senior and FFA Chapter President Kallen Pitz enjoyed speaking with the employees of Parker Hannifin and hearing about different aspects of their jobs.
“I don’t think about work that goes into simple stuff like pipes when I’m at home, so coming here and getting to see it happen was a really great learning experience for me,” she said. “Something that stood out to me is that you don’t have to go to a big fancy college to work in a place like this.
“You can start at the bottom and do physical labor and work yourself to the top. I thought that was really cool, because some people don’t have enough money to go to college.”
She added, she thought the tour was very interesting and she could see herself pursuing a job in manufacturing — although it is not her first choice.
“You don’t think about the work that goes into simple products like this,” she said. “When you go out and see people working on individual aspects of it, you have more of a respect for those products and those people.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH