On October 22nd 28 London/Oxford EMC Member facilities opened their doors providing tours for local high school students.
Over 300 students and teachers participated in the Plant tours. The goal was to give kids a look at all the different jobs that are available in a modern manufacturing facility. Even today the perception is often that manufacturing is still a dirty and dangerous career choice, but the reality of a modern manufacturing facility is much different. The tours highlighted roles such as skilled trades, quality control, design, CAD/CAM, human resources, purchasing, IT, health and safety, engineering, management etc...Hopefully these tours will steer some young people toward a career in the sector. Not only did the plants highlight all these different roles they talked about the type of education they look for when hiring and even potential pay scales.
The feedback from both the plants that opened their doors and the students taking the tours has been great. A lot of old perceptions were changed and eyes opened to some exciting career possibilities.
The support from the plants was amazing, to get 28 plants to open their doors on one day is a real feat.
This is the 4th year London/Oxford Region EMC Members have supported these plant tours. EMC works with some other great local organizations on this project including Elgin/Oxford/Middlesex Workforce Development, the London Region Manufacturing Council and the London Economic Development Corporation. Also partnering in this event was the Thames Valley District School Board and the London Region Catholic School Board. We had schools participating from Strathroy, London, St Thomas, Alymer, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and Woodstock. The participating Plants were from London, Alymer, Tillsonburg, Woodstock, Ingersoll, Strathroy & Salford.
We wanted to get kids interested in a career in manufacturing with these tours, and that certainly did happen. A lot of students, and teachers really had no idea what went on in a modern manufacturing facility and now they do.
As this as become a annual event in the area EMC London/Oxford Region Members will plan again on opening their doors to local youth in the fall of 2015.