May 13, 2015, 9:00AM EDT
Exton, PA- In May, USSC Group hosted 16 high school students from the Octorara School District for a Manufacturing Showcase to emphasize the important role manufacturing plays in today’s economy. The students were involved in a number of activities aimed at understanding manufacturing and highlighting the importance of the industry.
“The trades are a lost art. Today there are many highly valued positions in many manufacturing companies. There are many competing companies looking for talented, energetic people with skills that are not often taught anymore. Wages are very strong, jobs are plentiful, the opportunities for advancement are endless, and the skill set is never obsolete,” said David Kiernan, Director of Military.
The Octorara High School has five career paths which are based on 16 career clusters adopted by the PA Department of Labor and Industry and the PA Department of Education. USSC hosted the students from the Engineering, Industrial Technology and Agriculture Program. These students were able to apply their engineering knowledge to real life applications. USSC engaged the students with the research and design of our product, testing, fabrication and lastly, the creation of a seat.
The Manufacturing Showcase helped the students of the Octorara School District learn about manufacturing work by taking them behind the scenes of USSC Group and getting a taste of professional life. USSC collaborated with the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) and the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties (MACC/DC) to coordinate the one-day interactive shadowing event. The CCEDC and MACC/DC provided grant funding from the PA Department of Labor and Industry to help students learn about and aspire to technology driven manufacturing careers.
“This was the best showcase I’ve been to in the last 5 years,” said Dan Lefever, a Drafting and Design Teacher at the Octorara High School.
Manufacturing Showcases target juniors and seniors who are a part of a career-specific program of study which provide students with job shadowing credits towards their core graduation requirements. This work-based learning experience gives the students an up-close look at the relevance of their education. “The students seemed very interested in learning about the different products that USSC Group has to offer. They were excited to learn about our manufacturing process and had a chance to physically put some seats together to see how they are built,” said Mark Finley, Product Coordinator.
As an indicator of real-world success, consider the following testimonial from Fawn Collingwood, Human Resources Manager, USSC Group
USSC Group hosted 16 students and began our day with an interactive discussion with our CEO about manufacturing, our industry and why we do what we do. We had students with varying levels of preparation and participation, as we would expect. Throughout the discussion, three or four students readily participated, answered questions and had clearly researched our company prior to arriving. One student, Peter, who was dressed in khakis, a button-up shirt and tie stood out above the rest to the point that our CEO stopped talking, turned and pointed to him and said, “We’ve got a job here for you one day.”
Peter showed just as much interest in the other activities throughout the day and asked about out hiring process before he left. While we didn’t have any role available to utilize his skills within our Engineering group, it seemed worth discussing if there was a way to bring him on for a period. I reached out to our Engineering Manager shortly after the event, talked about Peter and suggested that we consider adding a summer intern to the department. We did and we interviewed Peter for the role.
Peter interviewed well, and has been our summer Engineering Intern. He leaves soon for college, but has been a great asset this summer. He has been able to work on drafting, participate in our inventory process and aid in assembly as well. Peter has remained professional, hard-working and conscientious throughout the summer, even ensuring he provided his two-weeks’ notice in writing.
If we can have one success like Peter from each Manufacturing Showcase, it will be more than worth the effort to continue to host them.
USSC is looking forward to working with more students within the Chester County. Our commitment is to offer students engaging learning opportunities that stimulate the workplace environment.
USSC designs and engineers world-class seating for many types of vehicles. As a leader in our industry, we continue to develop the most durable and ergonomically designed seats to reduce day-to-day driver fatigue and stress. If you would like to learn more about USSC Group please visit our website at www.usscgroup.com.