Manufacturing Methods and More - Local students get a peek at opportunities in the field

November 14, 2019

October was Manufacturing Awareness Month, and manufacturers across the country opened their doors to young children considering education in the trades. GM Today recapped a few ways young kids were exposed to the value of manufacturing careers.

Waukesha County Technical College part-time instructor Andy Hoerig (left) shows high school students a more hands-in form of automation. Middle and high school students attended an expo on manufacturing careers Thursday at Waukesha County Expo Center.
Ashley Haynes/Freeman Staff

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WAUKESHA — Over 800 local middle and high school students got to learn about the multiple fields of manufacturing that could provide them with future job opportunities Thursday at the Waukesha County Expo Center.

As October is Manufacturing Awareness Month in Wisconsin, the Waukesha County Business Alliance helped bring area manufacturing companies to Waukesha to speak to students.

“The number one reason our students attend this fair is for exposure to career paths right in our own back yard,” said Mollie Heilberger, School District of Waukesha career and technical education coordinator. “They can then make the connection class as to how their learnings apply to the real world.”

Shadyn Welte (front) learns about automation from Waukesha County
Technical College instructor Jesse Stuller.
Ashley Haynes/Freeman Staff

SDW partners with area manufacturers to establish hands-on learning opportunities through school projects, internships, co-ops and apprenticeships to address the skills gap in their workplace.

The district sent tech ed students from Waukesha West, North and South high schools, as well as from Butler, Horning and Les Paul middle schools.

Chris Hanson, human resources business partner for Fabick Cat, helps Dylan Swift figure out the controllers inside a skid steer loader.
Ashley Haynes/Freeman Staff

According to the alliance, manufacturing is the number one contributor to Wisconsin’s economy, producing more than $63 billion in total output last year, which is 19% of the state’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Some of the interactive displays available for students Thursday included an interactive welding booth, small press brake, a skid steer loader and more.