Manufacturing Day was celebrated Friday, October 3rd, 2014. In just three years, National Manufacturing Day has achieved more than 1,600 manufacturing plants tours and events with an estimated 100,000+ attending. This day has been designed to expand knowledge about, and improve public perception of, manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the Canadian and U.S. economy.
To celebrate this day, Anchor Danly, a member of the Tilbury BIA, hosted an open house for Tilbury students to tour their facility. This allowed them to showcase the various industries they fabricate custom work for and to demonstrate the number of high-skilled jobs available in manufacturing.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend Anchor Danly’s celebration on Friday. Upon being invited, Rhonda Mailloux, the Human Resource and Health & Safety Administrator, informed me that they “geared the tour and Manufacturing Day, as it was intended, to draw greater attention to the outstanding opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide and to promote the pursuit of skills that will lead to a long-term career that offers security and growth. We are in hopes that these students will consider manufacturing as a career in the future. We’re not necessarily promoting Anchor Danly, but manufacturing in general”.
The tour consisted of five different areas so the students could get exposure to the welding process, plasma cutting process, bending process, drafting process and a presentation on career opportunities in the manufacturing sector.
Of the various areas, the students seemed to be drawn to the welding process, as they were given a chance to weld, carefully with the guidance of Randy Beukelare, a welder employed at Anchor Danly. Suited up in their proper welding gear, they beamed with pride to have had the chance to do something they deemed “so cool” and “so important”. They simply “had no idea it could be so much fun”. I heard from a few students that day who chose their career path as a welder on the spot.
Aside from the hands on exposure they were offered, the students were able to listen to a great presentation about the importance of manufacturing and just as importantly, to address the misconceptions about manufacturing. It was highlighted that there is so much skill involved and manufacturing is not a “dirty and unsafe job”, as often perceived. As they were able to see for themselves throughout the tour, they appeared to be more understanding of the reality and nature of the manufacturing sector.
I applaud the Anchor team for hosting such a fantastic Manufacturing Day, filled with imperative information for our youth today. It was worthwhile to see the students enjoy themselves and learn about a possible future career opportunity. Many students were quite amazed with the work performed by the skilled workers and were even more impressed with the tools used to create a product from engineering to build. I am overjoyed to have been able to attend a successful Manufacturing Day celebration put on by a member of our BIA!
Executive Director & Events Coordinator