2019 Oregon MFG Day Recap
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Thanks to the efforts of 67 manufacturers who opened their doors to host students, as well as the countless partners who coordinated tours, hundreds of students across the state got the first-hand experience with manufacturing. Many students were visiting facilities for the first time.  The OMEP staff participated in several tours throughout the day and share their experiences below.  We know it is not possible to be in 60 places at once, but we wish we could have been! The events below are just a small sampling of all the great work happening across the US to bring new workers into manufacturing careers.

The final tallies are rolling in, but we know that this year’s MFG day was bigger than ever. Manufacturing Day isn’t just a day in October. The ability to host a tour for the future manufacturing workforce or connect to teachers and students is available throughout the year. If you are interested in being involved in an event or hosting a career fair, reach out and we can connect you with organizations who can help. OMEP is hosting a reverse MFG day event with Tiger Manufacturing at the end of the month to extend the learning. Manufacturers are welcome to attend to learn from these inspiring students.

Lane County Tours

Michael Stoeger

Students prepare to load the busses and head off to the first of their tours.

National Manufacturing Day had a wonderful kickoff in Eugene! Over 260 Students & teachers from around Lane County came together early Friday, October 4, to discover the interesting things being produced in their own backyard.

Glory Bee, Seneca Sawmill, Camas Country Mill, Seneca Co-Gen Plant, Mountain Rose Herbs, Arcimoto, Forrest Technical Coatings, International Paper, Rosboro, Paktech,  and SnoTemp  all graciously opened up their doors, hosted tours, and answered questions while discussing the finer points of their manufacturing processes in this annual celebration of the manufacturing industry.

I was lucky enough to tag along with a 30-person group mostly made up of students from Creswell High School. We toured Camas Country Mill, a producer of high-end whole grains & artisan baking flours, and Mountain Rose Herbs a producer of fine herbs and spices which are used as ingredients in food, teas, aromatherapy, and medicinal purposes.

Camas Country Mill Owner Tom Hunton leading the group through the facility

Steve Yeager discussing sustainability and 0 waste certification at Mountain Rose Herbs

Both organizations offered great insight into the importance of understanding your market, production efficiency, and functioning within a well-organized workspace. Students were actively engaged and loved hearing about the large volume of products that were being produced (and who was using them), the important and rigorous safety standards (including FSMA & FDA regulations), and what educational options could lead to the positions they saw first-hand on-site. The students were also impressed by the locality of high-end raw materials, organization sustainability practices, and the variety of work that takes place within each organization.



Jasmine Agnor

Each year the Washington County School to Career Manufacturing Day Bus Tours are an incredible success, organized by Hillsboro School to Career. This year, almost 600 high school students visited 30+ local manufacturers.

I had the pleasure of touring Weir ESCO with students from Tualatin High School. The Weir Group’s ESCO® division engineers, manufacture and services mission-critical equipment used by companies in mining and infrastructure markets. With more than 100 years of experience in the science of metals, alloys and wear materials, ESCO is recognized as an industry leader delivering innovative products and custom engineered solutions that enhance customer safety and productivity.

Students toured a portion of the large facility and heard from several employees about their work, how they got there, and why they enjoy what they do.

During the factory tour, students spoke with a staff member who was managing R&D and saw sand molds being created. VP of North American Operations Anna Thames shared about her career path at ESCO, explaining how important soft skills and leadership are to the organization (and to any manufacturer). She encouraged students to take risks, and solve problems.

One of the safety managers shared his career story. When he was a young teen working in a parking garage, the head of HR at ESCO recruited him. ESCO trained him on the job, and he has been with the company for over 20 years.

Students also got to work with engineers to create mini hard hats. Engineers assisted them with building a mold, pouring pewter and filing the edges after it had cooled. Everyone enjoyed the process. Ultimately, MFG day was a success as today’s makers showed tomorrow’s makers how it’s done.


OMIC MFG Day Event

OMEP enjoyed our partnership with the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) R&D. OMIC R&D is a world-class collaborative environment bringing together industry, higher education and government in partnership to develop new tools, techniques, and technologies to address near-term manufacturing challenges through applied research and advanced technical training.

The OMIC Manufacturing Day event was a unique opportunity for youth and community members to see cutting edge manufacturing technology in action, while learning about career pathways into the regional, national, and international manufacturing industry. Attendees go to see live demonstrations of 3D printing, laser cutting and virtual welding all in one place.

At their inaugural event last year, over 230 local high school students engaged with 25 vendors and partners at interactive booths at the OMIC R&D facility. This year the numbers were even higher.

OMEP set up with Virtual Reality (VR) goggles showcasing some of our recent work with local Oregon manufacturers and an Augmented Reality (AR) app, that showcased smart factory technologies.

Also hosting the event was Portland Community College, who is designing a Training Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing to train Oregon’s next generation of the workforce within OMIC. Focused on advanced manufacturing, the center will house such programs as Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operation, Machining, Industrial Fabrication and Mechatronics.

Working in close collaboration with industry and higher education partners, PCC’s training center can help close the skills gap by offering training that combines work-based experience (on-the-job training) with classroom and lab instruction, in an innovative apprenticeship model. Students can complete an apprenticeship program, and/or an associate degree or certificate leading to an advanced degree. Emphasis will be placed on craftsmanship, professionalism, and placing graduates into high-wage, high-demand advanced manufacturing jobs – a sector whose future looks very bright in Oregon.

You can find out more about the event from KATU’s Local News Coverage.

Learn about MFG Day success via the official website.

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