Education Beyond Borders

How to Get Students Interested in Manufacturing and Trades

With the economy open to growth in manufacturing and trades, young students who are considering future occupations can be given helpful information about this sector through a variety of instructional media. Public and private schools as well as vocational or trade educational programs can utilize a range of strategies to provide students an in-depth understanding about this occupation choice.

Classroom Demonstrations

Invite local manufacturing company managers and professionals into classrooms to demonstrate special techniques like laser cutting that students will find interesting. Viewed close up, these skills appear to be exciting and easily learnable. Consider allowing students to safely handle tools and equipment. This approach can be motivational to eager young minds who want to learn more beyond textbooks and lectures about career options.

Cutting-Edge Resources

Up-to-date textbooks, blogs, videos, and interviews with community manufacturing representatives will give students an inside view to this line of business. Videoconferencing with experts, including a segment for questions and answers, makes the possibility of working in manufacturing and the trades more accessible and relevant. Diverse learning materials and local leaders can encourage non-traditional students and those of different races to feel welcome in considering this occupation for their future.

Onsite Tour

Instructors may be able to arrange field trips or manufacturing plant tours for classes of students who are able to understand and appreciate the onsite activities. Walking through the facility and talking with some of the employees will make the occupation more realistic. Students might be able to shadow an employee during the tour or for the day who can explain the range of duties associated with one or more specific job positions.

Expert Presentations

In addition to classroom demonstrations, community leaders of manufacturing facilities may be invited to address a school or grade-level assembly. Topics could include current practices and recent innovations as well as anticipated future developments in the manufacturing sector. Share case studies of unnamed individuals or companies to provide a realistic context for the industry and give students food for thought in considering this area of work for eventual employment. Professional speakers can also be streamed in live by Internet access to individual classrooms or the entire school body.

With the evolution of digital processes and computerized technology that is changing the shape of manufacturing jobs in the twenty-first century, students may be even more interested in pursuing a job in this field.

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