PIQUA — On Aug. 20, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Grow Piqua Now and the city’s educational partners hosted a Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) informational session for company leaders of Piqua-area manufacturing businesses in the roles of president, CEOs, human resources, operations managers, recruiting, training and development.
The committee members of the event organizers are collaborating to plan a Piqua city-wide manufacturers event in October involving students in grades 7-10 in an effort to inspire students to join the manufacturing workforce. With manufacturing employment at 20 percent in Miami County, which is double the state average, and the average annual earnings of Ohio workers on manufacturing payrolls at $60,002 in 2017, the advantages of pursuing an educational path towards a manufacturing career are plentiful and need to be appropriately communicated to the city’s youth and their parents or guardians.
Piqua Chamber President Kathy Sherman opened the event, which took place at the Fort Piqua Plaza, by expressing the goal of the session: to convey the benefit of creating a unique opportunity for students, parents and educators to see contemporary manufacturing in action and to ignite their interest in a manufacturing career in their community. Chris Schmiesing, executive director of Grow Piqua Now (GPN), echoed Sherman’s comments and touted the economic development implications of a strong manufacturing workforce, calling the manufacturers of the room into action by affirming that “economic development is a team sport.”
Tayte French Lutz, French Oil Mill Machinery Co. director of marketing, shared their company’s experiences with MFG Day. The 120-year-old family business started hosting MFG Day events in 2014 and has opened their doors to well over 1,000 area students since. The company has experience with two different event formats: invitation-only school tours and, most recently, an evening open house for area students, their parents, company employees and their families. The company sees a great benefit in showcasing the many career opportunities within the organization, from the shop floor to the C-suites, including machining, finance, marketing, engineering, sales and more. When guests tour French, they are welcomed with an introduction overview of the company, an engineering presentation showcasing the capabilities of the SolidWorks computer-aided engineering program and a walk-through of the machine shop and the assembly department, where guests see proprietary French hydraulic presses and screw presses being manufactured and built.
Representatives from the various community education partners and Fastlane, West Central Ohio’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, shared information on their programs and their workforce development efforts, educating the businesses leaders in attendance on the valuable resources available in their own community.
After an informative question and answer session at the conclusion of the presentations, Sherman recapped the opportunities for manufacturers to showcase their businesses, create relationships with future employees and increase their community engagement with participation in MFG Day.
For more information on how to be involved with MFG Day in Piqua, please contact Sherman at the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce at (937) 773-2765.
Event Committee Members:
• Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce President, Kathy Sherman
• Grow Piqua Now Executive Director, Chris Schmiesing
• Piqua City Schools – Dwayne Thompson and Rob Messick
• Upper Valley Career Center – Dr. Nancy Luce, Tony Trapp and Jason Haak
• Edison State Community College – Brandi Olberding and Peggy Wiggins
• FASTLANE – April Vanover
Manufacturing Facts, provided by the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association (OMA):
• Ohio manufacturing is responsible for almost 17 percent of Ohio’s Gross Domestic Product
• Manufacturing is the largest of the 20 sectors of Ohio’s economy, including government
• The average annual earnings of Ohio workers on manufacturing payrolls in 2017 were $60,002
• There are 204 manufacturing establishments in Miami County
• Manufacturing employment of total county employment is 20 percent in Miami County and 37.5 percent in Shelby County