Hundreds attend National Manufacturing Day event
SUNYIT hosted a National Manufacturing Day event October 4, sponsored by the Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM). A parallel conference was held at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh for those in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region.
Bringing local businesses together with educators and students interested in manufacturing careers, the half-day event brought hundreds of high school students to SUNYIT’s Kunsela Hall to learn about the numerous career opportunities that await them, right in their own backyard. The conference also included a panel where local advanced manufacturers talked about the various opportunities for business in New York State. Panelists gave a virtual tour of their facilities and technologies and took questions from students about the way manufacturing has changed, as has workforce opportunities and the requirements to get into the manufacturing field.
For a trio of students from the Clinton Central School District, the day opened the doors to all kinds of possibilities of where they may someday take their career.
“I can get more of a grasp on what I wanted to do instead of going around and going to different websites,” said Brady Moccaldi, a junior, of the chance to have multiple local manufacturers under one roof. Classmate Jonathan Wigderson agreed. “It’s easier to see what’s out there when it’s under one roof,” he said.
Amy Lloyd, a junior, said that she was hoping to find some leads on a future career path in manufacturing. She says she has been around manufacturing her entire life, as it is what her father does for a living. She hopes to carry on the family tradition with a field she very much enjoys.
“It’s like a puzzle in the way that you put something together and understand how it works,” Lloyd said.
Students from Clinton Central Schools, Rome Free Academy, Holland Patent Central School and Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES met with various company officials to talk about what manufacturing is today versus the outdated images of manufacturing from yesteryear.
“I hope that we create some opportunities here for students to see that manufacturing has changed. It’s not the old smokestack, assembly line, dirty work that kids remember their grandparents working in,” said conference organizer Kate Alcott. “The new form of manufacturing is technology-driven. It’s exciting.”
Cory Davis was among the many representatives taking part in the event. Davis works for R. Kraft Inc., a company that does cleanroom consulting and certification, helping businesses that require cleanrooms set up their standard operating procedures and training.
“I think students and young people today are unaware of what it takes to manufacture and the details it takes in getting a product to market,” Davis said.
Anita Brown returned to the SUNYIT campus not just as an alum, but as marketing communications manager for Indium Corporation, a supplier of products to the global electronics, semiconductor, solar, thin film and thermal management markets. She hoped bringing all the elements of manufacturing under one roof for the minds of tomorrow will show just how many doors are available for opening.
“We’re looking to really show the opportunities for technology jobs in the area,” Brown said. “A lot of kids don’t know the opportunities they have. What we try to do is really encourage them to go into the STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] fields and know about opportunities that are out there for them in the STEM fields.”