OCTOBER 6: Advanced Manufacturing Event at College of The Albemarle
by Think Currituck, on 9/11/17 1:50 PM
College of The Albemarle Invites Students and Community to Take a Hands-On Approach to Opportunities in Modern Manufacturing
The most terrifying two words in modern manufacturing are “skills gap."
But what is the skills gap and why is it so scary?
Simply put, the skills gap is a looming blank space between the talent manufacturing companies need to keep running and the talent they can actually find. As a generation of older workers gets closer to retirement, many manufacturers are finding that there are fewer young workers ready to take their place.
The numbers are definitely cause for concern.
According to a report from Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute: “Over the next decade over 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs being unfilled.”
So how do you step in to help close that gap of 2 million manufacturing jobs?
One job at a time.
That’s where the College of The Albemarle (COA) 4th Annual Advanced Manufacturing Event & Open House comes in.
The event will be held on Friday, October 6th at COA’s Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center, a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot facility in Currituck County.
Students, parents and community members are invited to experience and learn more about educational opportunities and careers in machining, welding, aviation, engineering, HVAC, electrical, and drafting and design through demonstrations, static displays, tours, and employer displays. Current COA students and graduates will also be on hand to talk about their journey from college to career.
“It's really an exploratory event,” said Michelle Waters, dean of COA’s Business, Industry and Applied Technologies programs. “We try to make it very interactive and everyone who comes will get to explore and spend time with what really interests them.”
Not coincidentally, the event falls on the same date as National Manufacturing Day, a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Manufacturers to increase manufacturing awareness, tackle industry challenges and help future workers and companies succeed.
“I think we're combating some myths,” Waters said. “There's a misconception that manufacturing doesn't exist in the United States anymore. That's why it's really good to have companies onsite because you can actually see who's hiring for these jobs.”
In addition to showcasing courses from the COA, the 4th Annual Advanced Manufacturing Event & Open House will give attendees the chance to speak with manufacturing employers from North Carolina and Hampton Roads.
Making that connection is important on several levels. First, because many companies are faced with the reality of an impending labor shortage, it benefits them to communicate what type of jobs are waiting for future graduates. Second, having local manufacturers attend gives students the chance to understand that solid, well-paying positions are waiting for them at the end of their educational path.
“It's really about building the pipeline for future employees for these companies,” Waters said. “If we can't provide a pipeline, those companies won't exist around here.”
The event starts at 9am on Friday, October 6th and runs until 3pm. While the focus of the day will be scheduled visits by groups of high school students, Waters stressed the fact that this event is open to the public and the community at large.
“Everybody is welcome,” she said. “It’s a great event for people who are looking to transition their careers. And I’m really encouraging parents of students to attend, because I think it's a great idea for them to explore (and understand) some of the options and opportunities in advanced manufacturing.”
Friday, October 6
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Regional Aviation & Technical Training Center
107 College Way, Barco, NC