Students, instructors and special guests gathered at Moore Norman Technology Center's Franklin Road Campus in Norman last week to learn about the status of manufacturing in Oklahoma and the U.S. as a part of National Manufacturing Day.
Guest speakers addressed over 400 students from MNTC's CNC Machining, Welding, Computer Aided Design & Drafting, Electrical Apprentice, Pre-Engineering, Automotive Service Technology, Carpentry, and HVAC career programs to share information about careers in manufacturing and the employment outlook across the state.
Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance's Mike Raymond shared about the types of manufacturing opportunities available in the state, including jobs vehicle parts manufacturing, pipe and plastics, the energy industry, pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing, computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, household goods and machinery manufacturing.
Most high school age students today do not have enough information about a manufacturing career. There are lots of discussions within the state government, in schools and the industry about the skill shortages for manufacturing jobs. CareerTech, in the state of Oklahoma is a shining example of a system that is trying to fill this gap.
According to MFGDay.com, events like this "show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the national to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders."
Manufacturing is the process of turning raw materials into finished goods. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership states that more than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers, with more than 75 percent of them saying this skilled shortage has negatively impacted their ability to expand.
According to the Manufacturing Day website mfgday.com, multiple sites in Oklahoma have MFG Day events scheduled throughout the month of October, with over 900 happening across the U.S. during the same month.
Manufacturing Facts :
- In 2018 the average Oklahoma machinist earned $44,950 annually, with the high range at $65,360. (bls.gov)
- Electricians’ average earnings were $55,190 with the high range at $94,620. (bls.gov)
- Manufacturing supports more than18.5 million jobs in the U.S.
- Manufacturing comprises nearly 12 percent of the National GDP.