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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2019 / Vol 42 No4

32 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

32 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK NUTS, BOLTS & THINGAMAJIGS 2135 Point Blvd., Elgin, IL 60123 TEL 1-888-394-4362 EMAIL info@nutsandboltsfoundation.org WEB www.nutsandboltsfoundation.org INSPIRING TOMORROW’S MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE THROUGH SUMMER CAMPS by Cindy Day Industry studies continue to sound the warning that the manufacturing industry will be faced with a skilled worker shortage that will only get worse over the next decade. According to reports, by 2025, up to 2 million manufacturing jobs will remain unfilled.i Manufacturing employers, community colleges, and trade schools have responded to the crisis by resurrecting apprenticeship programs, developing skilled training curricula, and creating career pathways through industry credentials. While these efforts are helping to attract students to the field, they are simply not enough to combat a negative public perception, and senior year of high school may be too late to change a student’s career direction. Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® (NBT), the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l. (FMA), has found an effective way to reach young people at a more impressionable age through summer manufacturing camps. Hosted by community or trade colleges and technical high schools, the camps introduce students ages 12-16 to the exciting world of advanced technology and manufacturing. The one or two-week camps offer CORE TECH - FORT MYERS TECHNICAL COLLEGE BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE TOOLIN’ IT SUMMER MANUFACTURING CAMP MORAINE PARK TECHNICAL COLLEGE students an opportunity to design and build a take-home project that they make with their own hands. NBT provides schools with grant funding, materials, and key resources needed to host a successful manufacturing camp. In addition to the financial support, NBT provides a camp curriculum guide, developed in coordination with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), along with a camp safety manual. The five-section curriculum introduces entrepreneurship concepts to encourage learning about the business side of manufacturing. In addition, each camper also receives a 365-day license for SolidWorks CAD software and a customized T-shirt with the name of the camp and supporting sponsor logos. The program has grown significantly, and this summer, NBT supported 130 grant-funded and affiliated manufacturing camps across the country serving nearly 2,500 students and their families. Plans are in progress to expand the NBT camp program across the U.S. with a goal to host a camp in all 50 states. CONTINUED ON PAGE 114

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