Auburn Works

Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

ATAC Celebrates National Manufacturing Day with High School Students

2016 National Manufacturing Day – October 6th

More than 140 area high school students gathered at Southern Union State Community College to celebrate National Manufacturing Day with tours and discussions, as Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Auburn Mayor Bill Ham, Jr. proclaimed October 6th as Manufacturing Day for each city.

The High School Senior Day with Industry event offered students the tools they might need to create a bright future in their communities.  The event began with students participating in a Panel Discussion lead by representatives from local manufacturing companies including a Plant Manager, Facilities Maintenance Manager and Human Resource personnel.  Topics discussed and questions asked centered around entry-level positions, expected wages, resume and application preparation, education requirements, interview techniques and more.

After the Panel discussion, students were bused to area manufacturers for plant tours.  Hosting companies included:  Auburn:  General Electric Aviation, Rausch & Pausch, Donghee Alabama, Kemmerich USA, Weidman Plastics Technology, Donaldson Company, Rexnord Industries, Seohan Auto USA; Opelika:  Pharmavite, Mando America and Tallasee: Neptune Technology Group.  During the tours, Mayor Bill Ham, Jr. presented a City Proclamation making October 6th Auburn Manufacturing Day to Jerry Chestnut, Plant Manager, Donghee Alabama.  Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller proclaimed the day Opelika Manufacturing Day with a ceremony at Pharmavite which included Pharmavite Site Manager, Lance Buchanan.

“There is an increasing demand for highly skilled professional in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology,” said Hank Czarnecki, Acting Director, Auburn Technical Assistance Center and the Alabama Technology Network, Auburn University.  “The average age of a manufacturing employee is 56, and between now and 2020 there will be an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers who will need to be replaced.  Plant tours and presentations are excellent tools to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers to our area’s high schools students.”

High school seniors from four area counties were invited to attend the one day event.  The schools included: Auburn HS, Beauregard HS, Beulah HS, Handley HS, Lafayette HS, Lanett HS, Loachapoka HS, Opelika HS, Valley HS and Randolph Roanoke CTE.

The Technical Education and Workforce Development Division of Southern Union State Community College hosted the event with the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) and Alabama Technology Network (ATN), Auburn University.  Partners included:  the City of Auburn’s Office of Economic Development, the Auburn Industrial Development Board, Auburn Training Connection and Opelika Economic Development.

ATAC and ATN - Auburn University contact:  Walker Jackson  334 844-3890;

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