October is an exciting time for Mold Craft. Fall has begun, it is the start of the fiscal year, school is back in session, and we are host to one of the thousands of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) events around the country. MFG Day was founded by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International in 2012 to dispel the misconceptions around careers in the manufacturing industry. On the first Friday of October, North American manufacturers open their doors to local schools, career guidance counselors, the community and anyone interested in learning about modern manufacturing. This year there was so much interest from local schools that Mold Craft held the event over multiple days. Between October 6th, 2017 and October 12th, 2017, Mold Craft hosted 72 students and 5 faculty career counselors, teachers and administrators from 3 local high schools.

Everyone at Mold Craft plays an important role in welcoming the MFG Day attendees and truly showing the great work environment at Mold Craft. Each group is first welcomed by Mold Craft’s owners, Tim Bartz and Justin McPhee, before being split into smaller groups and taken on an in-depth tour of the facilities where they are encouraged to engage and ask questions. Jeremy Kerg, the College and Career Pathway Coordinator from White Bear Lake High School liked the format and said, “I thought it was really great to break the kids into smaller groups and you gave them a lot of time to ask questions. The kids picked up on the enthusiasm that all your employees showed on the tour. You really catch the vibe that people are proud of the work they do at Mold Craft.” This pride and enthusiasm was evident as each respective group was led through a manufacturing department by one of Mold Craft’s senior team members who, in addition to explaining the expertise required of their area, also shared how and why they chose a career in manufacturing.

During the presentation, groups were led through six stations; Design & Engineering, (Computer Numeric Controlled) CNC Steel Milling, CNC Electrode Milling and Sinker EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining), Wire EDM, Career Path Planning and a final presentation at the Technology Center demonstrating the latest technology in micro injection molding. At each station, the local students and faculty were shown that manufacturing is not the dark, dingy, low skilled career that many still believe, but rather that it is a high-tech, well-paying field that allows skilled workers to use some of the latest technology to create essential items for everyday life.

With an estimated 80% of manufacturers having trouble finding the skilled workers they need; this event allows Mold Craft to create relationships and find the next generation of mold makers. To that end the event was a great success. Bryan Farmer, the College in the Schools (CIS) Physics and Engineering Teacher from Mahtomedi High School said, “The kids were very impressed with the tour yesterday, I heard comments like: ‘Pretty cool and amazing’, ’I want to work there now’, ’It was cool to see bigger and better versions of machines we use at school’.” These students were presented with a new perspective and more options for their futures than what they may have thought possible and whether they end up at Mold Craft or find success somewhere else in the manufacturing sector, we know we have had a positive impact on our community.

We truly appreciate the great interest that we receive from the schools and members of our community on MFG Day and throughout the year. For more information on MFG Day, visit MFG Day or contact [email protected] to schedule a shop tour. MFG Day happens once a year but we are always willing to open our doors for those interested in the manufacturing industry.