From Oct. 24-28, 2016, Mack hosted its biennial Made in Vermont Days at its Arlington, Vt., Headquarters – bringing local high school juniors and seniors into the Company’s manufacturing space to learn about manufacturing and engineering careers through tours, workshops and presentations.
The program is designed to reach students looking to go to a four year school, as well as certification and technical programs, and those who may wish to enter the workforce directly. This year Mack welcomed four schools – Arlington Memorial High School, Southwest Vermont Career Development Center, Long Trail and Burr & Burton Academy, as well as local home school students. In all, nearly 50 students, educators and parents participated.
Students toured the Company’s HQ through the lens of one particular product manufactured there that incorporates virtually Mack’s entire vertical integration of services. Following the tour students participated in a competitive workshop introducing the theory behind manufacturing flow before learning about careers available to them with the Company’s Director of Human Resources, hearing business insights from the HQ Plant Manager and an open Q&A with these key staff members. Students also were given the opportunity to sign-up for more in-depth workshops to be held at a later date in the following disciplines: Injection Molding, Machining, Sheet Metal Fabrication, Manufacturing and Engineering.
By hosting the event in October, Mack is able to leverage the power and name recognition of Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month, creating additional pull through while increasing access to supportive resources. Additionally, Mack benefited from its relationship with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC), whose team trained some of the Company’s up and coming employees to conduct the manufacturing flow workshop featured during the event, which proved fun and informative for students, putting some context behind what they had seen on the manufacturing floor.
Mack’s Made in Vermont Days represent just one facet of the Company’s outreach efforts to cultivate the next generation of talent needed to drive manufacturing in the Northeastern United States. With a goal of building a sustainable workforce by encouraging the next generation of engineers, technicians and professionals, Mack regularly brings in middle and high school students, sends engineers into the classroom and has even had programs for children as young as kindergarten. In addition to Made in Vermont Days, Mack’s high point in this effort is an internship program that has hosted close to 100 interns from schools like UVM, WPI, RPI and RIT. The Company is now starting to recognize the fruits of its labor with a record number of interns – six – joining Mack as full-time employees in 2016.