K-12 students get a glimpse of manufacturing industry during "Manufacturing Week"

Did you know manufacturing 'week' used to just be manufacturing 'day?' The event started in 2013, but has grown to offer so much more to students in the past six years.

Posted: Sep 30, 2019 8:07 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2019 7:22 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—It's an exciting week for K-12 students in the Greater Lafayette area. The Greater Lafayette Commerce is hosting its sixth annual Manufacturing Week. It's a time for students to learn about how manufacturing works, and future career options. 

The event started in 2013, but in the past six years it's grown to offer so much more to students in ten surrounding counties. In fact, Manufacturing Week used to just be Manufacturing 'day.'

Kara Webb, Workforce Development Director with Greater Lafayette Commerce, explained the goal of this week is manufacturing awareness and career exploration for all students.

There are designated locations for each age group, because students will all be focusing on something different this week.

Ivy Tech Lafayette and Monticello campuses will host the younger students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. The elementary students will be doing some hands-on activities with manufacturers. The goal for these younger students is to teach them how manufacturing affects their world.

River City Community Center will host the middle school students, who will learn about things such as 3D printing and machine technology. The goal for sixth through eighth grade students is to show them all different career pathways within the manufacturing industry.

High school students will be touring at manufacturing facilities in our area. There are 27 manufacturing locations that are giving tours to the high school students this year. The goal is to show ninth through 12th grade students how to take action to start their careers in manufacturing. They will also learn about the different education options they have after high school.

Webb said it's about showing students every option they have. 

"Because today we really want people to have post-secondary education, but that's not always an option to be right available right after high school," Webb said.

She also explained that every career pathway is within manufacturing.

"You may want to become a nurse, but a nurse is on-staff at most of the manufacturers in our region," Webb said. "And so is occupational therapy, legal departments [and] HR."

Webb said Manufacturing Week is such a fun opportunity for students, and they should all be very open and come ready to learn.

The event goes through Friday, October 4.

Nearly 3,400 area students will be attending.

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