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A New Generation Of Manufacturing Specialists

December 1, 2011

Welding instructor Gary McCallum gives students a welding demonstration during the third annual Youth in Manufacturing Expo. (Photo courtesy Winnipeg Free Press)

Middle school students from throughout Manitoba will get a first hand look at the manufacturing industry today, while taking part in an expo aimed at encouraging teens to begin thinking about their post-secondary and career options.

The third annual Youth in Manufacturing expo, taking place Thu., Dec. 1, 2011, at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus, will give Grade 9 and 10 students from local schools a chance to explore the impact of the manufacturing sector on Manitoba’s economy. It will also provide them with a range of industry-related educational options to consider as they begin planning for life after high school.

“The world of manufacturing may have changed, but one thing has remained constant — the need for highly skilled workers,” says Lori Royal, Program Director at Skills Canada Manitoba. “Computers, advanced technologies and processes are redefining the way products are designed and produced. Innovation, improvement and increased productivity are no longer the future — they’re the norm.”

During the morning, students will take part in one of four offsite industry tours (at Duha Group, MacDon, Motor Coach Industries and WinPak), where they’ll learn about the innovative processes and practices that allow local manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.

In the afternoon, students will get a hands-on look at labs and workshops at the College that are devoted to such industry-related training programs as Welding, Carpentry, Computer Aided Drafting, and Pharmaceutical Technology. They’ll also visit an industry trade show aimed at raising their awareness of the many career options available in manufacturing — Manitoba’s largest business sector, with approximately 2,000 employers and 70,000 employees.

“With a career in manufacturing, students have the opportunity to work with advanced equipment and innovative technologies, and to compete in the workforce armed with highly-sought-after skills,” says Debbie Leiter of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Manitoba. “It’s good for them to start hearing about their options early, so they can make informed choices when selecting their courses.”

Youth in Manufacturing was launched through a partnership between Red River College, Skills Canada, and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, to give students a better understanding of how products go from design stage to assembly to market.