LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Area manufacturing companies and educators are putting their heads together to plan for the future workforce.
Greater Lafayette Commerce is hosting the Regional Workforce Summit in Lafayette.
As more advanced manufacturing jobs move into the area, the need for educated employees is growing. Organizers said this summit is an opportunity for companies to work with high schools and encourage students to choose careers in manufacturing.
Tippecanoe School Corporation Superintendent Scott Hanback said it all starts with engaging students directly.
“We want to be able to capture those students who might be at risk of not receiving a diploma,” Hanback said. “Getting them hooked up on a track that might lead them to some potential success later on.”
Hanback said TSC gives students interested in manufacturing the chance to get hands-on experience at area companies while still in high school.
Kirby Risk President of Manufacturing Doug Mansfield said working conditions in factories have vastly improved over the last decade.
“It’s clean. It’s air-conditioned. It’s a good environment with great benefits,” Mansfield said. “I think if you go to any of the local industries that we have in this region, that environment exists today — which is completely different than it used to be.”
In addition to seeking out high school students, Mansfield said he is focusing on training the unemployed and the underemployed to fill the skills gap at Kirby Risk.