Students ‘think manufacturing' at expo

October 14, 2014


CPA member Roger Sustar of Fredon Corporation helped sponsor the second annual Think Manufacturing Student Expo in Willoughby, OH.

[Reposted from Crains Cleveland Business | By Amy Popik | October 9, 2014]

Students got a glimpse into the world of manufacturing at the second annual Think Manufacturing Student Expo at South High School in Willoughby on Oct. 8.

Over 20 companies, such as STERIS, Swagelok, Parker Hannifin, The Lubrizol Corporation and Lincoln Electric, participated in the event, and Auburn Career Center, College Tech Prep, Lakeland Community College and Precision Machining Institute were in attendance to offer insight into further education opportunities in manufacturing.

The event was hosted by Alliance for Working Together, a group of local manufactures that work to promote manufacturing opportunities in the community, and Lake County chamber of commerce.

“This is to inform people about careers in manufacturing,” said Roger Sustar, co-founder of AWT and CEO of Fredon, a precision machining company in Mentor.

Karen Tercek, president and CEO of the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce, said this also lets students from around the county learn about internships, co-ops and part-time jobs the local companies might have.

“We kept hearing from our manufacturers that ... they need new, young employees,” she said, adding that it has been a great partnership with AWT to make the expo a success.

The main goals of the event were to create awareness with students and get talented students interested in a manufacturing career.  

“A lot of our high schools have downsized their technical and vocational programs, so there is this void,” Tercek said.
Alyson Scott, president of Fredon, said there are a few key things they look for in potential employees.  

“A good work ethic and a good attitude in general is important because when they come in you know they want to be there,” she said.

“It matters less what they know and more what their attitude is and their desire to learn because we can teach them.”
Sustar hopes students who attended the event seriously consider applying for a job in manufacturing or do some job shadowing.
Jacob Brewster, a junior at Perry High School, said he came to the expo to find out more about engineering opportunities.

“I enjoy anything that involves engineering,” he said. “I really like working with my hands, and I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”

He said he is interested in mechanical, civil and aerospace engineering.

Dan Land, a senior at Harvey High School in Painesville, found out about the expo from a presentation at school, and he said he is very interested in going into manufacturing after graduation.

“A few companies came and showed us some videos of what they do at their companies, and said they would be here,” he said. “So far this has been really good.”

A date has already been set for the third annual Think Manufacturing Student Expo.

It will be Oct. 8, 2015 at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland.


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