To inspire the next generation of manufacturers, Manufacturing Day is a nationwide event aiming to bring awareness to training and careers in the industry.
The Greater Reading Economic Partnership – through its Careers in 2 Years initiative – played its part in the movement on Saturday by hosting the first Berks Manufacturing Day, with more than 20 Berks County manufacturing companies and about 100 attendees.
The event kicked off at 8 a.m. at Reading Area Community College’s Schmidt Training and Technology Center with an informational meet and greet with local manufacturing companies. It was capped with tours of five Berks manufacturing companies: Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC, American Crane & Equipment Corp., Brentwood Industries Inc., Remcon Plastics Inc. and East Penn Manufacturing.
GREP, a nonprofit organization that works to facilitate economic development growth in the Greater Reading region, in 2012 identified the lack of technical skilled workers as a critical need to nurturing economic prosperity in the Greater Reading area. In turn, the organization launched Careers in 2 Years, where it partners with local career and technology centers to offer training and retraining programs for companies and individuals.
The program is aimed at middle school and high school students and works to generate awareness about the opportunities and jobs available to those with technical skills.
“We constantly hear from manufacturers in Berks that it’s a challenge to find skilled workers,” said Deb Heffner, GREP’s economic development coordinator. “We can help them by educating the public about the opportunities with manufacturing in Berks.”
The Careers in 2 Years program focuses on applied manufacturing, computer-aided design and drafting, machining, mechatronics, robotics and welding.