Thursday, February 9, 2012

Witnessing Manufacturing and STEM

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hosting a representative of U.S. Senator Rob Portman's staff for a visit to various businesses in Licking County.  It was a chance to play witness to the manufacturing revival and value of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills all in one.

It's truly a privilege of my job to get to see these things first hand.

I saw Kaiser Aluminum's furnaces at work.  You don't take bauxite to aluminum coils for rivets without some serious STEM skills.

When your local box maker has good things to say, it's a good sign things are getting better. The tour with PCA was an eye opener too. Maximizing machine use, designing precision cuts, and minimizing scrap are just three of dozens of STEM skills at work.

Screen Machine Industry's tour is always fascinating to me too.  Steve Cohen still, though, won't let me man the controls on one of his huge crushing machines.  Making a massive machine from design and sheets of steel to ready to ship is no easy task.  He can't compete with manufacturers in China and Europe like he does without a highly-skilled workforce and STEM skills all around his plant.

It was the meeting with Marcia Downes at The Works that sums it up, though.  You don't have to work at the Port Authority to get to witness manufacturing and STEM skills at play.  Everyone can share in that privilege.

The Works is hosting the 2012 edition of STEMFest on Sunday, February 26.  Over 20 companies are expected to be on hand showing, first hand, demonstrations of how science, technology, engineering, and math skills get applied every day.  There's one chance.

The employers at the Aerospace Center will be putting on demonstrations at The Works as part of the Aerospace Center STEM Industry Day March 11 while celebrating 50 years of metrology and inertial guidance in Heath.  There's another chance.

The Work's Industry Tours have included all these places in the past and, in fact, will include a tour of Kaiser Aluminum this Summer.  There's another.

Witnessing manufacturing and STEM.  Glad we all have that privilege.

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