Educating the Educators

Members of the American Mold Builders Association’s Chicago Chapter hosted a special symposium on October 7 for educators from area junior high and high schools to educate them about viable career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

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Members of the American Mold Builders Association’s Chicago Chapter hosted a special symposium on October 7 for educators from area junior high and high schools to educate them about viable career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.  

With more than 30 educators representing 17 schools in attendance, the skills gap was addressed and the groundwork for career paths into the industry was laid out in several ways. One was by sharing the recently released video titled “Mold Making: Your Road to Success”, in which the major roles in mold manufacturing are introduced by young people who actually perform each role.

The symposium also included a keynote address by Dr. Nick Polyak, who is superintendent of Leydon High School District 212 and a strong advocate for manufacturing as a career. Dr. Polyak shared his high schools’ successes with developing an internal manufacturing technology program and partnering with local manufacturing companies – including A-1 Tool in Melrose Park, IL – to give students an up-close view of potential careers in manufacturing.

Several owners and managers from Chicago AMBA member companies presided over roundtable discussions, sharing their “roads to success” in mold manufacturing including career paths taken, beneficial curriculum, what today’s manufacturing floor and culture looks like and more. Educators also learned that most mold maker apprentices graduate debt-free and gainfully employed in a rewarding career – and several apprentices were there to attest to it.

The symposium received high marks from the educators and many expressed interest in shop tours as well as having local mold builders attend career fairs or serve on advisory boards at their schools. The Chicago AMBA will host another Education Symposium in 2016. Learn more about what this group is doing to help attract the next generation of mold builders at MoldYourCareer.org.

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