Chatham-Kent Economic Development Services, in collaboration with the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, and coordinators at the Lambton Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board, organized and hosted today’s 2018 Chatham-Kent Manufacturing Day. The event, which was a great success, provided over 150 high school students from across Chatham-Kent the opportunity to explore the role that advanced manufacturing plays in the local and global economy.

The goal of the day is to introduce high school students to the careers and, equally as important, the career pathway available to them at an early stage. Thanks to seven local manufacturers, students had access to directly experience modern day advanced manufacturing processes.

“The manufacturing industry has undergone significant changes thanks to technology,” said Geoff Wright, Business Development Officer with Economic Development Services at the Municipality. “Today was important because it gave students a clear understanding that advanced manufacturing requires educated and qualified people.”

An example given by Wright is the need for people that code computer numerical control machines, or CNC machines. “Chatham-Kent manufacturers need people with critical thinking skills and a wide range of training in areas such as robotics, engineering, finance, and HR,” said Wright.

Mark Sherman, Superintendent of Education at the Lambton Kent District School Board said, “Most students do not have any first hand experience with the wide range of tasks that take place in local businesses – especially those of a manufacturing background. By getting them out and about in the community, they build a frame of reference for possible future careers and may well develop a passion for heading towards a pathway in their STEM education to get them into specific industries.”

STEM, which is short for science, technology, engineering, and math, has become the standard in education and plays a vital role with industry-school partnerships.

“We are home to trained professionals with a high degree of experience in custom machining,” said Wright. “Today shines a light for students to see first-hand the global leaders that do business here.

Chatham-Kent has over 180 manufacturers, many which work with exotic metals, precision componentry, and specialty testing equipment. Our local advanced manufacturing sector is home to system builders that cultivate success and produce precision products within very high tolerances.

“The importance of completing a post-secondary diploma or degree in order to prepare and compete for jobs in demand in the future workforce has never been more apparent,” said Wright.

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A group of Chatham-Kent students visiting Gincor Werx, a trailer manufacturer located in Blenheim, for an insider tourA group of Chatham-Kent students visiting Gincor Werx, a trailer manufacturer located in Blenheim, for an insider tour of the facility. 

Additional Details:

For More Information Contact:
Goeff Wright
Economic Development Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Email: geoffw@chatham-kent.ca
Phone: 519-351-7700

Nicole Beuckelare
Pathways Consultant
Lambton Kent District School Board
Phone: 519-336-1500 ext. 31285.

Media Contact:
Andrew Tompsett
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
315 King Street West
Chatham, ON  N7M 5K8
Email: andrewt@chatham-kent.ca
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039
Fax: 519.436.3237