to Celebrate Manufacturing Day 2015
This annual event highlights the growth of the manufacturing
industry and need for skilled workers.
VANCOUVER, Wash.— Clark College is partnering with the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and local industry for Manufacturing Day 2015 to raise awareness of the ongoing need for skilled manufacturing workers. Manufacturing Day is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and is sponsored nationally by a diverse array of manufacturing companies.
Clark College has long played a role in supporting this region’s industry by working with local employers to create career technical programs—such as Diesel Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, Machining Technology, and Mechatronics—that meet their needs. Clark’s dedication to manufacturing continues with the college’s current efforts to create a center for advanced manufacturing at its future North County campus in Ridgefield, Clark College at Boschma Farms.
Paul Cunningham, a Clark College graduate, is an example of the type of successful students the manufacturing industry is seeking. Cunningham, who was home-schooled, attended Clark to complete his high school diploma in 2010. He entered the Machining Technology program that same year and subsequently transferred to the Mechatronics program, one of the college’s newest manufacturing training programs. He earned his associate degree in Mechatronics Technology in June 2015, graduating with honors.
“I enjoy fixing things and thought manufacturing would be a good career for me,” said Cunningham. “Plus, the employment opportunities and ability to go into maintenance in just about any manufacturing environment was very appealing. The pay is competitive and every day is different. I troubleshoot a variety of issues on different equipment daily.”
Like many students at Clark, Cunningham needed to work while completing his studies. At the suggestion of one of his instructors, he applied to Linear Technology Corporation and was offered a position in the maintenance department while he completed his studies. He soon discovered he was able to easily apply what he learned in the classroom to his daily work activities. Seeing additional opportunities in the field, Cunningham plans to return to Clark to complete the Instrumentation/Control Automation certificate.
Several local activities are planned in honor of Manufacturing Day. The Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council and Middle Class Alliance are hosting a screening of the film American Made, which highlights the positive impact of manufacturing jobs on national and local economies. The screening will take place on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at 7 p.m. at the Kiggins Theater in Vancouver, Wash., and is open to the public. Additionally, the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council will hold Manufacturing Week October 5-8 as part of its Business-After-School program. Planned activities include tours and hands-on activities for youth in our community to expose them to manufacturing careers. These activities are sponsored by American Paper Converting, Linear Technology, CID BioScience, Columbia Machine, Weyerhauser/Norpace, and Sigma Design. For more information about Manufacturing Day or planned events, visit www.mfgday.com or www.business-after-school.org.
About Clark College
Located in Vancouver’s Central Park and serving up to 14,000 students per quarter, Clark College is Washington State’s largest single-campus, for-credit community college. The college currently offers classes at three satellite locations: one on the Washington State University Vancouver campus; one in the Columbia Tech Center in East Vancouver; and one in the Columbia River Gorge in Bingen, WA. Additionally, its Economic & Community Development program is housed in the Columbia Bank building in downtown Vancouver.