October 7, 2016
Students Celebrate Manufacturing Day!

Fairfield County was built on agriculture and manufacturing. Generations of families made their living in local factories with stable jobs and good wages. But the view toward manufacturing has changed over the years as many workers were negatively impacted during the economic downturn. An effort by the 33 Development Alliance is reminding residents that manufacturing is alive and well in Fairfield County, with more than 18% of jobs in Fairfield County in the manufacturing field. Local junior high school students from Amanda-Clearcreek, Lancaster City Schools, and Pickerington Schools were able to witness first hand that current manufacturing jobs aren't dirty, dangerous, or dead end like many may think. They involve math, science, and technology and have great career paths that can improve with further education.

Amanda-Clearcreek and Lancaster City Schools toured Midwest Fabricating in Amanda. Students learned how the the company makes tow hooks and other parts for vehicles like Jeep, Tesla, and John Deere. The Lancaster students toured Midwest Fabricating on Monday and then went to Ohio University-Lancaster to learn how they can further their education in Engineering-Technology. OUL's program helps students apply their STEM education to hands on work with machinery and can coincide with jobs at local manufacturers. Here is an overview of the program. The students learned how various machines operated and got to see a 3D printer in action. On Friday, students received specially printed 3D objects and a letter of recognition from Senator Sherrod Brown. You can read more about the Lancaster student's Manufacturing Day here or watch the following video on youtube.

Pickerington students visited Nifco in Canal Winchester to see how automobi le parts from manufacturers such as Honda were created. The students were from their Junior High School's STEM program. Nifco is a global leader in supplying plastic fasteners to various industries. Learn more about one of Fairfield County's fastest growing and largest employers  here.

We're hoping this will be the first of many events highlighting manufacturing in our county. The students gave lots of positive feedback including: 
"My opinion (of manufacturing) has changed a lot. Before I used to think it was basically a pollution machine but now I know it's not and it creates thousands of jobs."
"I now see manufacturing as a very interesting career and a great place to start and grow."
"It's not dirty. There is good pay. They even pay for school if you haven't gone."
"I learned that there is a lot more engineering involved than I originally thought."

Thanks to all of the students, teachers, administrators, OUL, and the economic development staff of Fairfield County, Pickerington, Lancaster, and Canal Winchester for making this a great success.

Thank you for helping Fairfield County become the best place to live, work, learn, and build.


Rick Szabrak
Economic Development Director
Fairfield County