In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2017, Smith & Richardson Inc. in Geneva, opened its doors on Oct. 5 to more than 125 students from Geneva, Glenbard East, St. Charles East and St. Charles North high schools along with Illinois Representative Steven Andersson.

Then on Oct. 6 more than 100 students from Hampshire, South Elgin, Streamwood, West Chicago high schools along with Senator Karen McConnaughay, U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren, and Illinois Representative Michael Fortner toured the company as part of an effort to change people's perceptions about today's manufacturing environment and draw attention to the outstanding opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide. Planned activities included presentations relating to the field of precision manufacturing with specialized and focused tours of the facility's areas of production.

Additional tours will be given Friday, Oct. 20 with Waubonsie Valley and Earlville high schools participating.

"Manufacturing today gives a prospective employee the opportunity to earn while learning. Many employers offer training programs were new employees learn the practical applications of a job while learning the theoretical values at an institution of high learning, all at minimal or no cost to the employee. Imagine the ability to earn a college degree without acquiring any student debt," said Carlos Balandrin, production manager at Smith & Richardson Inc.