If you see an extra few school buses on the roads today travelling around Chatham-Kent, it is all thanks to ten local businesses that opened their doors and gave 200 students the opportunity to go past the showroom and see what it takes to create the high quality products for which our region is known. Students in grades 10 through 12 had a guided tour of manufacturing facilities where they learned about tools, technology, and the training needed to have a successful career in the trades.
During the tours, company representatives also shared important lessons about the value of workplace culture, soft skills such as communication between staff, and the necessity to arrive on-time for work. Several employers discussed with students that their attitude towards responsibility is just as important as having the skills for the job.
“One of the questions we have heard employers now asking during an interview is ‘what kind of chores did you have when you were growing up’”, said Andrew Tompsett with Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “They have discovered that this question gives them a good understanding of the work values that a potential candidate may have.”
The event, which is organized by Chatham-Kent Economic Development Services, is part of the national Manufacturing Day campaign designed to show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
The ten manufacturers who participated in Manufacturing Day include the following:
- Waltron Trailers
- Russell Tool & Die
- Aarkel Tool & Die
- 1 Source Designs
- Windmill Cabinet Shop
- Mahle Filter Systems
- GWS Tube Forming Solutions
- All-Weld Technologies Ltd.
“In addition to thanking all of our manufactures who participated, I have to thank the people at the Lambton Kent District School Board, Chatham Christian Schools, École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Marie, and St. Clair Catholic District School Board for helping me coordinate the students. They have been fantastic to work with and every student I’ve spoken with today has been engaged and has told me that they are learning so much,” said Rosemarie Montgomery, Economic Development Officer. “Even the teachers I’ve spoken with have been over-the-moon excited because they know that their students are connecting the dots between what they are learning and how it can help their future.”
In addition to discussing careers in the trades with students, employers are also sharing information on other important roles such as Human Resources, management, and administration.
“We want to help the students understand that manufacturers across all of Chatham-Kent are looking for people with a variety of skillsets. By exposing them to this kind of information, they can work on developing a career pathway at a timely stage in their education,” said Montgomery.
Chatham-Kent has over 180 manufacturers, many of 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.
For more information about Chatham-Kent Economic Development, including other events and activities, visit www.investck.ca
Jon Bultje, from Windmill Cabinet Shop, discussing the technology used to create the custom cabinetry and other furniture they manufacture on-site.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames Street
Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039