YOUNGSTOWN – Carson Nagy isn’t entirely sure what path his life will take after high school, but the nuts and bolts of his future appear to be firmly in place.
“I’m considering becoming an engineer, but I might get into machining. Trades are the best thing to do right now; the domain is in demand now ”, the second year of Mahoning County Technical and Career Center has been observed.
Perhaps a stronger foundation was built for Carson to meet his goals, as he was one of some 200 area high school students who attended a manufacturing day event Friday at the training center of excellence of YSU on Commerce Street.
The four-hour gathering aimed to give students a chance to learn more about – and better understand the many career opportunities in – the manufacturing sector, noted Wim Steelant, dean of the College of Science, Technology, engineering and mathematics from YSU. Participants were also treated to a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations.
“This field has a great need for commercial skills”, he said.
YSU’s College of STEM, Eastern Gateway Community College, and the Center for Excellence in Training hosted the event, which also included classroom sessions focusing on career opportunities in robotics, printing commercial, machining, industrial maintenance and other related fields.
Nonetheless, STEM enrollment has declined, even though the field has a 100 percent placement rate, meaning those who receive such a degree are guaranteed a well-paying job. Many young people leave the Mahoning Valley after graduation, and the COVID-19 pandemic may have scared others off, Steelant said, explaining two main reasons for the trend.
Carson, however, was anything but frightened when he spoke to various industry representatives at the rally. He was one of the high school students who inquired about employment and hiring opportunities as well as other offers at the company.
Animal science is Emily Phelps’ main interest, but she considers a career in engineering if her main focus fails. At one point in the event, MCCTC sophomore Emily was interested in finding out how a sophisticated robotic arm performed a simple assembly operation by lifting and placing small screwdrivers in a container sequentially.
Industry participants were Vallourec, Commercial Metal Forming, Lordstown Motors Corp., Ohio Star Forge Co., JuggerBot 3D, Dearing Compressor and Pump Co., Brilex Group of Companies, Butech Bliss, Humtown Products, Ultium Cells LLC, City Machine Technologies Inc., Gasser Chair Co. Inc., Cargill, Hynes Industries, Trivium Aluminum Packaging Corp. and Taylor-Winfield Technologies Inc.
“We are looking for qualified machine operators”, Kayla Panning, a recruiter for Trivium Aluminum Packaging, said.
29-year-old Youngstown, formerly Exal Corp., specializes in the manufacture of metal packaging “Infinitely recyclable” and prides itself on being environmentally friendly, she said.
The process usually begins with small, round pieces of metal, called ingots, which are extruded into cylinders and cut to size before adding printing and the necks of the products are shaped to form containers of different sizes, Panning explained. She added that the company also occasionally hires production workers.
Salem-based Butech Bliss, which has around 300 employees at its three factories, is also looking to fill positions for skilled welders, machinists and assembly technicians, noted Lisa Kravec, the company’s marketing director.
“There is more manufacturing (in the region) than people think” she said.
Noel Mackenzie, Butech’s sales engineer, added that the company primarily caters to the steel industry by providing equipment to refine the material before it is rolled, cut to a standard width, and ultimately used to fabricate. washing machines, refrigerators and other common household items, he explained. .
Mackenzie echoed Kravec’s assessment of the local manufacturing landscape, saying there are opportunities awaiting those interested, especially as many older workers retire.
“There are a ton of jobs there” he added.