RIT hosts local companies for 2017 National Manufacturing Day events and demonstrations

Careers in manufacturing will be highlighted for current students and during an afternoon program with local high school guidance counselors

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A. Sue Weisler

Steve Finch, plant manager of GM Tonawanda, visited campus as part of a past Manufacturing Day.

Rochester Institute of Technology is hosting its 2017 Manufacturing Day event on Friday, Oct. 6, to provide current students and local guidance counselors with important information about regional automotive, computer, plastics and electronics manufacturing opportunities and the coursework necessary to be successful in these fields.

The daylong series of programming for students is being held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. From 3-5 p.m., company representatives and RIT faculty will host similar presentations for guidance counselors from local high schools, charter schools, community colleges and regional Project Lead the Way instructors. Both sets of programming take place in RIT’s Louise Slaughter Hall, rooms 2210 and 2240.

The event is free and open to students from all RIT colleges interested in learning more about manufacturing opportunities. Students from the packaging and engineering technology classes will also present current research. Several are involved with RIT’s contributions to AIM Photonics.

National Manufacturing Day activities take place annually the first Friday in October. It is a national celebration of modern manufacturing and is meant to inspire the next generation of industry professionals and boost the public’s perception of manufacturing today.

RIT will be one of more than 1,700 sites across the U.S. hosting activities to highlight modern manufacturing technologies and opportunities. Sponsored by RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology, the university will host representatives from General Motors, Bausch & Lomb, American Packaging and Calvary Automation. They will meet with students from RIT’s packaging science and manufacturing, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering technology programs to discuss the skills necessary to work in today’s advanced manufacturing industries.

According to the Manufacturing Institute, there remains a skill gap of more than 2 million openings over the next decade for manufacturing positions, from skilled production workers to engineers, scientists and researchers. Between 2004 and 2012, U.S. manufacturing industry lost $9 billion to $25 billion per year of output because of open positions that went unfilled, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“RIT’s manufacturing, mechanical, electrical-mechanical, computer and electrical engineering technology programs educate students to adapt, grow and succeed in a highly competitive workplace,” said Robert Garrick, professor and acting department chair of CAST’s manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology department. “The department’s curriculum includes manufacturing processes, mechanical design, electrical and mechanical system integration, and conventional and alternative manufacturing processes. These programs prepare students for a variety of engineering careers including those in manufacturing, process, tool, and metrology engineering fields.”

A pipeline of skilled employees capable of designing and implementing new technologies in advanced manufacturing to increase productivity will be the basis for new products, services and global expansion, Garrick explained. RIT’s manufacturing and mechanical engineering program has more than 600 students in the program and graduated more than 150 new engineers during the past academic year. Co-op students and graduates are employed in all major industries such as aerospace, automotive, chemical, computer, defense, energy and manufacturing.

For more information about the event and participants, contact Duane Beck, lecturer in the CAST mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology program, at 585-475-6118 or dpbcad@rit.edu.