Posts in Category: Educators

Manufacturing Day


On October 4th, Manufacturing Day is naturally recognized and is the largest annual opportunity for educators, businesses and individuals to inspire the next generation to be apart of becoming the manufacturing workforce of the tomorrow. 

The primary goal of behind CWIMA's vision and initiatives towards a positive shift in perception around the manufacturing industry, is to align K-12 Education with Postsecondary Institutions and Industrial Employers to prepare the next generation of workforce talent for careers in Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing.  The driving force behind this initiative and the multi-faceted levels of collaboration, is the growing demand of Industry 4.0 skills within the Central Wisconsin workforce. 

Industry 4.0 technologies are rapidly transforming how people work in manufacturing, engineering and other sectors like transportation helping them become more productive by connecting new processes with smart devices to upload, analyze and utilize production data. The impact of these pieces of equipment will not only support alignment to industry trends but also cast a wider net of exposure to non-traditional students, specifically those who are interested in Math, Computer Science, Data Analytics, and Programming.

Interested in being apart of this manufacturing movement? Get in touch today and find out how you, or your company, can impact the future of the manufacturing workforce. 

Not sure what to do after high school? Consider a Manufacturing Career!

Not sure what to do after high school? Consider a Manufacturing Career!

If you’re looking to start a profession that offers growth opportunities and a stable income, consider a manufacturing career.

The manufacturing industry fuels the U.S. economy and employs nearly 10 percent of people in the country. Manufacturing is a leader in technology and innovation, offering many different types of jobs and opportunities to advance your skills training. Even during the pandemic in 2020-21, the manufacturing industry remained strong and recovered well while other sectors were stagnant. With so many companies currently looking to hire new employees, now is an ideal time to become part of this booming industry.


Why Manufacturing Rocks!

Learn on the job and gain real-world experience.

The manufacturing industry provides many opportunities for high school graduates who are seeking an entry-level position and want to gain practical, real-world experience. Most manufacturing companies offer on-the-job training and require no previous work experience. This is a great way to build your resume and develop technical abilities. You will also learn valuable and transferable skills, such as time management, teamwork, and problem-solving. Additionally, the manufacturing industry and companies that manufacture products offer many different areas for you to work in. From natural materials, food production, textiles, construction materials, to pharmaceuticals and more, manufacturing spans the spectrum. You can choose to work in a field you’re passionate or curious about. A career in manufacturing is an ideal job choice for recent graduates and people looking to expand their work experience or transition into a new industry. 


You can see the results of your hard work.

When you have a career in manufacturing, you see exactly how your work matters. The products you help to produce and deliver are real and support other companies and communities. You can see what their impact is and tell others that “I made that!” It’s rewarding to know that the work you do will always influence the lives of others, whether it’s in the things they do and or the things they purchase.


Earn a steady and good income in manufacturing.

Unfortunately, there’s a perception that manufacturing jobs aren’t good jobs and don’t pay as much as other jobs. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Manufacturing careers are highly desirable and often pay better than jobs in different industries. Even at entry-level jobs, the average production worker makes $3 more per hour than the average cashier. Manufacturing jobs typically offer overtime opportunities, which is a great way to make extra money on top of a steady income. Competitive wages and benefits, including insurance, healthcare benefits and retirement plans, are also common among manufacturing employers. In the U.S., nearly 91% of manufacturing workers get health benefits. That’s more than most industries, even the financial sector. 


Manufacturing keeps you moving and active..

If sitting one place isn’t for you like a traditional office desk job, a manufacturing job can help keep you fit and stimulated. For many manufacturing positions, you’re performing a variety of job duties in a typical day that may involve moving around, being on your feet, bending, stretching, lifting, etc. The physical aspect of manufacturing work not only helps keep you in shape, it makes the day fly by without feeling bored. That doesn’t mean every job in manufacturing requires you to lift heavy weights on a regular basis. There are a wide range of positions and options within manufacturing to consider. You may assemble items, move products, or even operate machinery. You can pick a job that has the level of physical activity you feel comfortable with. 


Manufacturing offers professional growth and development opportunities.

Even if you start out as an entry-level production role in manufacturing, there are many other opportunities to grow in a manufacturing company and the wider industry. Especially in today’s tight job market, many companies prefer to promote from within. Once you have your foot in the door, you can potentially grow into leadership or management positions in a wide variety of departments. You might get trained as a machine operator, a plant operator, or even a quality control inspector. Your initiative, interest and work ethic will help you pave the way for opportunities in no time. This is your chance to grow your career, develop a more specialized skill set and transition into higher-paying jobs.

Key Skills for Technology and Manufacturing Careers

Key Skills for Technology and Manufacturing Careers

Step 1: Life Basics

Focus on excelling at the "life basics." All the skills in the world won't allow you to have a promising career if you aren't reliable and people find you difficult to work with. Develop habits now of showing up, being on time, staying "on task," being polite, showing a willingness to learn, and having a positive attitude. Regardless of the career path you choose, these good habits will serve you well. 

Step 2: Hands-on Experience

Get hands-on experience with projects around home or work. Seize any opportunities you have with friends or family to get experience with mechanical or building projects. Even simple projects like changing the oil in the lawnmower, changing the car battery, building a birdhouse, or deer blind are good ways to learn some basic skills like using simple hand tools, reading a tape measure, etc. If you have a job, ask your boss to involve you with mechanical projects around work. Better yet, try to find a summer job or school-to-work opportunity at a machining or fabrication shop so they can immerse you in manufacturing and work with others who have already chosen careers in these fields. Working with hands-on projects also gives you the chance to experience pride in building or fixing something. That sense of accomplishment is a key reason so many people find significant gratification in careers in welding and machining. A student who knows their way around a workshop or has some basic handyman skills have a leg up on students who have never used a tape measure or spun a wrench. Most career opportunities in advanced manufacturing require people to have good manual dexterity. Being good with your hands and enjoying that type of work are essential traits if you consider this career path. 

Step 3: The Basics Matter

Pay attention in school—the basics matter. Plain and straightforward careers in advanced manufacturing rely heavily on math and reading skills. Daily, most jobs in advanced manufacturing require individuals to perform basic math calculations quickly. Just as frequently, they use some geometry skills to determine layouts and complete similar portions of their job. While a machinist may never need to apply calculus, using basic math, geometry, and some algebra is essential. Having a solid ability to work with fractions and knowing how to calculate the sides of a right triangle or the circumference of a circle are examples of everyday skills for welders, machinists, and fabricators. Also, don't underestimate reading skills! Given the technical nature of advanced manufacturing, there is a lot of technical detail communicated on blueprints, equipment operating manuals, standard operating procedures, etc. Being able to read and absorb this information is vitally important quickly and accurately. 

Step 4: Choose Electives

Choose your electives wisely. When you take different elective classes, choose those with a mechanical, technical, and math slant over other electives. Ideally (if you are in or will go into high school), your high school will offer welding and machining classes. These should be at the top of your elective choices. If your high school does not offer welding or machining classes, get in touch with CWIMA and let us know. We work with many high schools, and we may donate equipment or find other ways of providing better training opportunities for your school. Like nearly all facets of modern life, welding and machining heavily depend on computers. Most modern machining centers are CNC. Welders are computerized. Robotic welding relies heavily on skilled programmers with strong welding knowledge. Classes in geometry, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), computer programming, science, physics, and even wood shop are other examples of electives that help build the skills needed for your career.

Why Should High School Students Consider Careers in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has been experiencing a renaissance of late. American factories are hiring once again, and manufacturers are investing in newer, faster, and more technologically advanced machines than ever before.The demand for skilled workers is higher than it’s been in decades, but getting educated in manufacturing can be challenging. So what do you need to know about the manufacturing industry to decide if it’s right for you? This blog post will serve as an introduction to manufacturing jobs and careers. If you’re reading this because you have an interest in pursuing a career in the sector, we hope that this information helps set you on the right path.

What is Manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the process of transforming raw materials into usable goods. This can include everything from mining the raw materials, to shaping them into the parts that go into a product, to assembling everything together. Many goods we use every day are manufactured, from cars, clothes, and houses to electronics and pharmaceutical drugs. Manufacturing has a bad reputation for being dirty, dangerous, and low-paying, but thanks to technological advancements, many of those stereotypes are no longer true. Modern factories are clean, safe, and highly automated, meaning human workers spend their time monitoring machines and handling things like quality control. Consequently, many manufacturers are looking for employees who are skilled in robotics and automation engineering.

Career Path in Manufacturing

A career in manufacturing could mean a variety of things depending on the company and specific job. A manufacturing engineer might work in the design department to create the plans for a new product, while a machine operator at the same company might assemble and test that same product. Electronics engineers who work in manufacturing will design, test, and troubleshoot different pieces of technology. They’re really at the forefront of technological progress, designing the newest and best devices we all use on a daily basis. Depending on the type of manufacturing job you’re in, you might be responsible for ordering or acquiring raw materials, managing a group of employees, or even providing customer service. Manufacturers work with a wide range of materials, from metal, to plastic, to textiles, so it’s important that you have an understanding of them before entering the field.

Why Should High School Students Consider Careers in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing companies are hiring more employees than ever before, and the industry will be short more than 2 million skilled workers by 2030. If you’re looking for a stable career in a growing industry with plenty of opportunities, manufacturing might be a great fit. Other reasons high school students should consider manufacturing as a career include: - Engineering as a core competency - Manufacturing companies are increasingly looking for engineering graduates to join their teams. Engineering skills are essential for designing, building, maintaining, and improving modern production lines. - Strong employment outlook - The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in manufacturing to grow by 8% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average growth rate in other industries. As the economy continues to grow and demand for manufactured products increases, manufacturers will need more workers. - High salaries - Depending on your education level, you could be earning a six-figure salary within a few years. On average, engineers earn $81,000 annually, and electronic engineers have a median salary of $93,000.

Finding The Right Course

When you’re researching programs and courses in manufacturing, one of the first things you’ll notice is the wide range of specializations available. From computer-aided design, to robotics and automation engineering, to industrial engineering, there are many different ways to break into manufacturing. You might also notice that many colleges offer combined degrees in manufacturing and engineering. While this is a great option for some students, it’s important to understand that you won’t see a difference in your job title after graduating. You’ll be an engineer, not a manufacturer. Before you start looking for schools, think about your long-term career goals. Do you want to design products? Work in quality assurance? Become an entrepreneur? Having a general idea of which path you want to follow will make your search easier.

Benefits of a Career in Manufacturing

Manufacturing offers a rewarding career with lots of opportunities to advance. A general manager of a manufacturing plant could earn upwards of $200,000 per year. It’s important to note that salaries vary depending on your education level, experience, and the company you work for. Manufacturing also offers some extra benefits, including generous paid time off (typically two weeks per year), health and dental insurance, and retirement plans. Manufacturers are also more likely to provide tuition assistance and internships then other industries, making them an attractive employer for many students.

How to Find the Right Program for You

When it comes to choosing the right program, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not you’ll be accepted. You can use our search tool, College Choice, to find programs and universities that align with your interests, goals, and academic strengths. You’ll also want to make sure that the program you choose has a good job outlook. You can find this information on the BLS website and in our College Results pages. After that, it’s largely a matter of choosing a program that works for your schedule and fits into your budget. There are a few considerations you might want to keep in mind when choosing a program, including: - Location - Are you willing to relocate? How far are you willing to go? Does the program you want to study exist in the area you want to live? - Degree - What are your long-term goals? Do you want a bachelor’s or master’s degree? What program will get you there the quickest? - Availability and tuition - How many programs are offered online? Do you want to go to school full-time or part-time? What’s the cost of attendance? - Location and degree - Is there a local program that offers what you want to study? How difficult will it be to transfer credits to your preferred university.


Manufacturing is a rewarding career that offers plenty of opportunities for advancement. From designing new products to managing a production line, there are many different paths you can follow in the manufacturing sector. This article has given you an overview of what manufacturing is, what a career in manufacturing entails, and why you should consider a career in manufacturing. We’ve also explored what a career in manufacturing entails, as well as some of the benefits of a career in manufacturing. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing, it’s important to do your research. Make sure you understand the industry and what a career in manufacturing entails. From there, it’s a matter of choosing a program that fits your budget, schedule, and career goals.