Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Made in Missouri: The Next Generation of Manufacturing Workers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Made in Missouri: The Next Generation of Manufacturing Workers

Article excerpt

If you are driving a Toyota vehicle built in North America today, chances are the aluminum castings were made by workers at Toyota Bodine Manufacturing in Troy, Mo. One of the largest aluminum casting manufacturers in the world, the plant has been providing livelihoods for St. Louis-region workers and their families for more than 100 years.

A lot has changed at Bodine Aluminum and advanced manufacturers around the country over the last century. What was once a labor- intensive profession has become high-tech. Workers in today's manufacturing plants are highly skilled equipment technicians, programmers and engineers. On average, individuals who choose a career in advanced manufacturing technologies can earn $15,000 more than the average pay of workers across all sectors, according to the Manufacturing Institute. Manufacturing is also a secure job choice. American manufacturers are expected to add 3.5 million jobs in the next decade.

But here is the downside. Roughly 2 million manufacturing jobs may go unfilled in the next decade because there are not enough skilled workers to fill them. Students, parents and school counselors are not aware of the opportunities that manufacturing holds for our next generation workers. As a result, America's students are not choosing manufacturing careers.

At Bodine Aluminum Manufacturing, we are working to change that through programs like the Advanced Manufacturing Program and Dream It. Do It. The AMT program is a partnership between State Technical College and a local manufacturing consortium comprised of five area manufacturers to combine classroom instruction and paid on-the-job experience to create opportunities for students and a manufacturing workforce for tomorrow. Dream It Do It is a program developed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute to showcase the incredible opportunities available in manufacturing to youth. …

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