Eight-grade students from across the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District had the opportunity to take a closer look at skilled trades opportunities in the area as part of Manufacturing Day 2018. Manufacturing Day, a nationwide initiative to aid in creating a positive perception of manufacturing and skilled trades as a career, was organized for its second time locally through a collaboration between the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce, The Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, The Mecosta County Development Corporation, The Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Osceola Development Corporation.
This year, over 600 students from Big Rapids Middle School, Crossroads Charter Academy, Morley Stanwood Middle School, Evart Middle School, Chippewa Hills Intermediate School, and Reed City Middle School visited manufacturers around Mecosta and Osceola Counties. Manufacturers included on the tours included Hamtech, Hanchett, Big Rapids Components—A Haworth Company, Fluid Routing Solutions, Ice mountain, The Pioneer Group Print Division, Galloup Guitars, Vitro, Reed City Group, Original Footwear, and Chippewa Plastics. The students also had the opportunity to tour the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center and learn about some of the career paths available there.
One of the chamber of commerce’s key roles in the community is to make sure that the area has the type of climate that allows for job, wage and economic growth. Without qualified people in these manufacturing positions, growth will remain stagnant, which is why the chamber wants to invigorate the manufacturing climate here in Mecosta County, keeping residents and their families in the area. With this event, the goal of the chamber of commerce is to help manufacturers to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.
The chamber would like to thank our community partners: The Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, The Mecosta County Development Corporation, The Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce, and Osceola County Community Development. Also, thank you to the Mecosta County Youth Advisory Council for their financial support of this project. Finally, thank you to our local manufacturers for opening your doors to the young people of the community for this special day. We are already looking forward to planning next year’s event!