Manufacturing Day: Inspiring Students at Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute
While manufacturing has evolved over the past several hundred years, the inventive spirit that gave birth to the industrial revolution continues to drive American manufacturing forward. This has given rise to a new era of technology-driven solutions that have made manufacturing one of the most advanced, highly skilled and progressive industries.
Although this may be true, public perception of the manufacturing sector has not evolved at the same rate, and many people are unaware of the advancements that have significantly altered the manufacturing landscape over the past decade. This has contributed to a host of challenges for today’s manufacturers, including the ability to attract the next generation of skilled workers.
According to a report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 82% of today’s manufacturers report a moderate or severe shortage of skilled workers—a widening gap that is expected to account for 2 million unfilled jobs by 2025.
In recognition of this growing concern, Manufacturing Day was created to shine a light on modern manufacturing and inspire students across the country to pursue careers in manufacturing-related fields.
Students who attended Manufacturing Day events in 2016 were asked to participate in a survey administered by Deloitte. As a result of their participation, 89% said they were more aware of manufacturing jobs in their community, with 84% stating they were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding.
This year, we joined the National Manufacturing Day movement and teamed up with our partners at The Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago to provide students from Lakeview High School with a first-hand look at modern manufacturing in action.
Our CEO and Founder, Paul Ryznar, met with 22 students enrolled in the school’s Makerspace class to share how new and emerging technologies, like augmented reality, have transformed manual assembly processes. Paul brought the new wave of manufacturing to life for these young individuals through a hands-on demonstration in which augmented reality was used to guide the assembly of a jet engine fuel injector.
Students were also exposed to other elements of digital manufacturing during their visit, which included a question and answer session with DMDII Project Innovation Engineer Charlie Tokowitz.
Madeline Franco, a computer science teacher at Lake View, said bringing her students to the facility helped bring to life everything they discuss in the classroom. Alex Hernandez, a high school junior, echoed her sentiment, saying the visit helped give him an idea of “how new technology works and is developed.”
Initiatives, like Manufacturing Day, provide a valuable touchpoint for the next generation of manufacturers to learn, find inspiration and pursue jobs of the future, and our membership at DMDII continues to be a strong partnership through accomplishing the goal of introducing digital manufacturing technologies to worldwide manufacturers, universities, and students seeking solutions.