Celebrating Manufacturing Month in the Greater Cincinnati Region – Raising the awareness of students and educators of Advanced Manufacturing Careers and Career Technical Education

Written by: Vickie McMullen

Companies in the Greater Cincinnati region came together in 2019 to partner in varied approaches to raise the awareness of students, educators, parents and the community at large of Advanced Manufacturing careers and Career Technical Education programs. Rhinestahl AMG, was one of the companies involved in this effort.

Companies in the Greater Cincinnati region (Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana) , have collectively decided in order to meet their workforce challenges in Advanced Manufacturing, they must band together in pursuing activities that lead to raising the awareness of the challenges of filling Advanced Manufacturing jobs in the region. These activities have included increasing the number of Manufacturing Day events and taking part in a newly implemented Teacher Externship Summer Program this past summer.

Regional Consortium of Advanced Manufacturing Companies – Their Workforce Challenges

Rhinestahl AMG, a precision machining company that manufactures complex components, fabrications, assemblies and integrated solutions and serves a vast amount of industries that include Aerospace, Consumer Goods, Defense, Electronic, Industrial, Medical, Oil & Gas and Transportation is a member of a coalition of companies that make up, a regional tri-state consortium, the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership (AMIP).  These companies found through a member survey that over the next four years,  they will need to fill 1800 jobs in advanced manufacturing.  This is according to Debby Combs, Director of Industry Partners, for a Competitive Workforce and Amy Meyer, Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership.  They also looked at other creative opportunities for raising the awareness of Advanced Manufacturing including sponsoring a Teacher Summer Externship.

National Manufacturing Day – One Day National Event has been expanded regionally to multiple days with Successful Results

AMIP saw from the data provided from the National Association of Manufacturing (NAM) that  Manufacturing Day events were having a positive impact on how students and educators were beginning to view careers in advanced manufacturing and decided increasing the number of days to expose more students, would raise the awareness level even higher and this has proven to be the case.  The idea behind National Manufacturing Day, originally instituted in 2012, was to change how manufacturing was perceived by the public. 

Companies participation in only the one day designated annually, the first Friday in October each year has also changed.  Rhinestahl AMG and other companies are moving beyond that single day to planned activities touting Advanced Manufacturing career pathways throughout the month of October and during the rest of the year.

Rhinestahl AMG held Manufacturing Day events on October 4th, the actual National Manufacturing Day, October 17th and November 4th, this year. 

Rhinestahl AMG employees to become involved in these activities.  They served as tour leaders on Manufacturing Day visits to the company, station leaders explaining their functional areas, provided hands on activities for the students and told their personal stories of how they developed their skills to become Machinists, Engineers, Programmers, and Quality specialists, as the students rotated through the various company departments and manufacturing floor. They also emphasized to students the importance of 21st century professional skills, being able to work effectively in teams, collaborative skills, taking initiative and problem-solving skills that are just as important as the technical skills and discussed with the students how these skills are used in their specific work areas.

Career toolkits were provided by Rhinestahl AMG to every student. The toolkit contained information on all Career Technical programs regionally, two year and four-year colleges in the region with their advanced manufacturing program options. Also included in the toolkit: information on specific Advanced Manufacturing careers from machinists to mechanical engineering careers, and salary information. Rhinestahl AMG’s internship opportunities and a handout on the 21st century skills needed in advanced manufacturing. Rhinestahl AMG also provided the students with a small manufacturing tool used for measuring parts as a gift. Rhinestahl AMG invited representatives from two of the regional Career Tech Schools, Butler Tech and Great Oaks to speak to the students during the Manufacturing Day events.  They provided the students with information on their Machining programs.

Vickie McMullen is the Director, Education Partnerships at Rhinestahl Corporation where her role is to educate teachers, parents, and students on the high-paying job opportunities available in Advanced Manufacturing. Rhinestahl is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partners (AMIP), a coalition of 240 employers, educators, and community organizations working together through Partners for a Competitive Workforce to help meet current and future Advanced Manufacturing needs.

This entry originally appeared on 2/26/2020 on the ACTE Industry Connect Blog:


Leave a Reply