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Advanced Manufacturing Group Continues Progress

January 2017

The EDC’s Advanced Manufacturing group continues its efforts to communicate career opportunities to Northland students and parents. A branch of the Northland Education and Business Alliance (NEBA), the manufacturing group started a series of events and activities in December. Comprised of a website, video, presentations and business tours, the activities are geared to offering students and parents a firsthand look at today’s advanced manufacturing.

A key focus is helping students and parents understand the nature of advanced manufacturing. While the U.S. has lost traditional manufacturing to foreign competition, advanced manufacturing with high technology, robotics and other techniques is on the rise.

Clay County already has advanced manufacturing. Ford Motor Company’s vastly updated Claycomo Plant is a good example. Dozens of lesser-known advanced manufacturing plants include businesses such as Tnemec Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer of coatings and coating systems; PAS Technologies, a leading provider of aerospace, oil, gas and industrial gas turbine markets; Industrial Springs Corporation, a custom manufacturer of high-quality mechanical springs and formed metal products; Magna LMV, automotive manufacturer; and Holland1916, which manufactures everything from touch screens to radio-frequency identification (RFID) software and hardware.

Many see advanced manufacturing as a major economic driver of the future provided enough adequately trained workers are available. Communities that can meet that challenge have opportunities to increase jobs and business growth.

A big part of the effort is simply letting area residents—especially students and parents—know about this growing scenario. A new “Careers of the Northland” website is under development to detail the rise of advanced manufacturing and opportunities available in Clay County. Latter steps include release of an advanced manufacturing video in January, a “Fall in Love with Manufacturing” day Feb. 14 and open house events at area manufacturing sites in March.

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