Businesses, schools, and other organizations across the South Bend – Elkhart region are preparing for thousands of K-12 students to visit manufacturing firms, both virtually and in-person, throughout the month of October. These experiences are part of the nation-wide initiative, Manufacturing Days, led by The Manufacturing Institute aimed at highlighting modern manufacturing careers to students.

“This year, the Education and Workforce Committee is focused on expanding deeper into pathways systems supporting educators and career coaches, which directly aligns with our goals at ITAMCO, said Education and Workforce Committee Co-Chair for the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and Manager of Training and Organizational Development for ITAMCO, Matt Davis. “Like many other companies across the region, we’re introducing new ways of working and delivering services that require a more technically skilled workforce and programs like Manufacturing Days allows us to showcase the modern world of manufacturing to the future workforce.”

This fall, as part of Manufacturing Days, local engagement with industry and K-12 districts is being led by the Horizon Education Alliance, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, and the South Bend Regional Chamber. Each organization will engage K-12 schools to deploy related curriculums and activities to classrooms, ensuring that quality instruction and participation occurs as the region continues to support high-quality career education activities.  

Regional collaboration led by the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and funding provided by the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network helped support the development of nine videos highlighting the career pathway stories of regional alumni both living and working in the region.

Alumni from regional colleges and universities including Bethel University, Goshen College, Holy Cross College, Indiana University South Bend, Ivy Tech Community College South Bend-Elkhart, Purdue Polytechnic Institute South Bend, Saint Mary’s College, and the University of Notre Dame, told the story of how the high-quality programs and activities they experienced at their alma-maters inspired them to continue to live and work in the region after graduating. Employers highlighted include American Technology Components, Keyfactor, Lock Joint Tube, Manchester Tank & Equipment, Press Ganey Associates, StairSupplies, Tire Rack, and Yolo Vox. 

“Talent Attraction and Retention is one of our five key focus areas, with a goal to transform the current out-migration to positive in-migration by 2030,” said South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership President and CEO, Regina Emberton. “Sharing stories like these increases awareness of career pathways and showcases the smart, connected talent coming out of our regional colleges and universities.” With over 40,000 college students in the region at any given time, we have an undeniable opportunity to meet our goal and grow our region’s talent pool.”

In addition to the postsecondary career journeys, SPI Industries showcased two of the eight students that worked as Machine Operators this summer in their company. The students worked full-time and gained extensive, real-world experience as machine operators. 

To watch the videos and to learn more about the South Bend – Elkhart region’s Manufacturing Day efforts, click here.