Wyoming County to show students values of manufacturing

WARSAW — Upcoming field trips hope to show off a top Wyoming County industry to students. And it’s not agriculture. National Manufacturing Day is Oct. 6 this year and county officials are hoping to not only inform students, but also encourage them that manufacturing offers viable careers. “It’s a chance to raise awareness for manufacturing jobs here in the county,” said Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency President Jim Pierce. It’s often touted that Wyoming County is the top agricultural county statewide. Given that, it might take some residents by surprise to hear manufacturing is actually the top industry in Wyoming County in terms of output, Pierce said. Residents also might not know that the county has about 50 companies that range from wood to metal to rubber manufacturing. And according to the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, the county has seen “unprecedented growth” in metals-based manufacturing jobs. It added that 15 percent of the workforce in Wyoming County works in manufacturing. Because of that, Linda Leblond at the Business Education Council and Scott Gardner of the Chamber hope to introduce kids to all that manufacturing jobs can offer. What’s more, the hope is to show students how manufacturing has changed. Pierce said that people often think of manufacturing jobs as “dirty” work but that’s not the case anymore. “Everything is advanced,” he said. “Everything is computer oriented and they’re good-paying jobs.” He added that manufacturing also offers students opportunities to enter the workforce quickly and without student debt. Students in grades 9 and 10 will be touring three companies in the community: Morton Salt, Advanced Rubber Products and the Marquart Company. “It’s good for students to see that these types of jobs exist,” Gardner said. “Everybody from the Presidential administration and all the way down is talking about (manufacturing) careers.” Original Article