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Closing the gap

• Oct 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM

AVERY — We have always been a nation of makers who invent, design and build.

But America has a problem approaching — there is a distinctive gap between the number of manufacturing workers set to retire in the next 10 to 15 years and the number of youth joining the industry.

National Manufacturing Day, Ohio’s Manufacturing Month and the Erie and Huron counties’ FutureMaker Showcase are designed to take on this challenge and expand knowledge about and improve public perception of industry careers and their value to the economy.

Despite innovative advancements and considerable opportunity, manufacturing still battles with outdated perceptions of menial jobs in dirty environments. Today’s reality is a growing industry with technologically demanding positions, like machinists who use 3-D software to model products, engineers who manipulate elements to create material or technicians who automate assembly with robotics.

On Oct. 12, the Erie County Economic Development Corporation, Huron County Development Council, EHOVE Career Center and industry partners will host the second annual FutureMakers Showcase.

“The event provides the opportunity to experience today’s manufacturing environment through hands-on learning stations designed by our business community. Evening hours will allow adults, parents and younger students to share in the fun,” said Carol Knapp, HCDC executive director. Over 1,000 students and hundreds of community members will experience the interactive event.

”In as little as 10 years, our five-county region could see 50,000 individuals retire and exit the workplace. This event is part of a proactive solution that will ensure our businesses and communities continue to be successful,” Abbey Bemis said, ECEDC executive director.

Employers and community members are encouraged to make contact with interest in any future initiatives at abbey@eriecountyedc.org.

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