Nationwide Manufacturing Day Area manufacturers seek to educate the community
By Molly Moser
Remember that infamous scene from the 1950s hit I Love Lucy, where Lucy and Ethel get jobs on a chocolate assembly line? The line starts running faster and faster, and the girls frantically stuff chocolates in any available pocket (mouths included) to keep up. This outdated assembly line scene is just one of many misperceptions Manufacturing Day seeks to dispel.
Manufacturing Day, an annual event that occurs on the first Friday in October, is a coordinated occasion during which U.S. manufacturers are invited to open their doors to demonstrate the potential of modern manufacturing and foster interest in manufacturing careers.
Manufacturing environments, which include highly trained, well-paid employees who work with state-of-the-art equipment, are commonly thought of as antiquated factories designed for low-skilled workers. “What we want to show is that what people have in mind is not manufacturing today,” said Roy Hatfield, general manager at Caterpillar in Elkader. “It’s not what they’ve been told or remember, grandfathers coming home from an old, dark, dingy factory covered in grease and grime.”
Mobile Track Solutions (MTS) and Caterpillar, Elkader
On Friday, Oct. 4, neighbors MTS and Caterpillar will host a joint Manufacturing Day open house. Facilities will be open for tours from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. NICC, Southwest Tech, and Hawkeye Community College will be on-site to present information on affordable educational opportunities in manufacturing. Six Clayton County school districts, including Clayton Ridge, have been invited, and parents of high school and junior high students are encouraged to attend to learn about the rewarding manufacturing careers available in their own backyards.