Building student excitement about manufacturing
Sophomores at Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences recently got a behind-the-scenes look at Northwest Technologies in Estacada.
The company specializes in laser cutting, fabrication and welding, among other services, and staff were eager to share what they do with students during the manufacturing day event on Friday, Oct. 5.
"This is not only something we want to do. It's something we feel called to do," said Aaron Nation of Northwest Technologies. "The employees are really interactive here. They love showing what they do. They're more than happy to weld in front of people. People are really excited, and it's kind of infectious."
During the event, 12 students talked with Northwest Technologies staff, toured the facilities and participated in a competition to see who could be the fastest to untie the 70 step Gordian Knot.
They asked about the types of work Northwest Technologies does, how the company has been expanding and ways to get a job in the manufacturing industry.
Staff told students that only half of the open jobs in the industry are expected to be filled in the next 10 years because of a skills gap, and that American manufacturing is the ninth largest industry in the world
Nation said the day is a valuable opportunity to cultivate student excitement around the trades.
"There's a huge push for college right after high school. That's great, but some students would benefit greatly to get into a high-paying job, and manufacturing is a booming industry," he added. "It's an opportunity to show them that this is a really cool thing, and they can be a part of something bigger than themselves."
Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences is an Oregon City-based charter school that connects its students with classes to prepare them for careers in engineering, manufacturing and construction.