Portage Economic Development Corporation to host 2016 Manufacturing 360 Event

Portage-Economic-Development-Corporation-Logo-2016Portage Economic Development Corporation (Portage EDC) in conjunction with Portage Township Schools and Ivy Tech will be celebrating Manufacturing Day with its own Manufacturing 360 event on October 14th.

Manufacturing 360 was created as a way to showcase the training and employment opportunities available to Portage High School students.

200 junior and senior students have applied to participate in the daylong event. According to Dr. Richard Weigel, Superintendent of Portage Township Schools “approximately 50% of graduating seniors plan to go to a 4 year college, which leaves 50% looking to figure out what they want to do. Most kids wait until the last minute and usually don’t know all of their options. What Manufacturing 360 will do is show them some of the options available to them for good sustainable employment here in Portage.”

Manufacturing 360 will begin in the morning of Friday October 14th by putting the students in groups of 50 and each visiting 3 different industries or organizations in the city. Those participating by hosting the students are Construction Advancement Foundation, Feralloy Processing, PSC Machining, Fronius, and the Sheet Metal Workers Local 20. At each location company representatives will present to the students the type of work they do, the training needed to perform the work, and the opportunities for employment.

The students will then travel to Ivy Tech in Valparaiso. Mr. Aco Sikoski, Campus President of Ivy Tech Valparaiso and his staff will showcase the training opportunities they offer with most directly correlating to the companies the students visited earlier. Hands on presentations will be made for Advanced Automation and Robotics, Cyber Security/Information Assurance, Design Technology, Energy Technology, Engineering Technology, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Technology, Industrial Technology, Informatics, Machine Tool Technology, Network Infrastructure, and Pre-Engineering.

Andy Maletta, Executive Director of Portage EDC says “One of the most common things we hear from companies either looking to locate or currently located in Portage is the need for workforce development and skilled workers. We believe that not only can we begin the training needed within the Portage Public School System but with programs such as Manufacturing 360 we can expose these students to the many opportunities right here in our community for good paying jobs and the path to obtain them.”

The idea for Manufacturing 360 was the result of the collective work of the Portage EDC Executive Director Andy Maletta, Business Development Manager Amy Parker, board members Dr. Richard Weigel, Superintendent Portage Township Schools, Aco Sikoski, Campus President Ivy Tech, and Sandy Alvarez of Innovative Workforce.

“I am so excited that we can offer this benefit of Manufacturing 360 to our members and business community as well as the students from Portage Township Schools” says Amy Parker, Business Development Manager of Portage EDC.