"Creators Wanted": Manufacturing association leader spreads the message at Palatine High
The president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers visited Palatine High School students Wednesday to spread the message "Creators Wanted."
"We also need builders and dreamers and doers and makers. In short, we need you, every single person in this room," Jay Timmons told students in the school's auditorium.
"Creators Wanted" is the title of a joint campaign by the association and The Manufacturing Institute to build a workforce to meet the industry's growing needs. According to the campaign's website, U.S. manufacturers need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030.
Timmons later toured the applied technology classrooms at the school, which has positioned itself as an incubator for manufacturing programs.
In Ashley Pollitt's engineering and architecture class, he saw the design of a home created for a competition by budding architect Maxwell Moraru-Rusu, a 16-year-old junior from Palatine.
"I used to be interested in playing with Legos at home. And from there, I just really enjoyed the looks of houses and I started paying attention more and more, and realized there are so many different components to homes," Maxwell said.
Timmons also toured an automotive lab recently remodeled to mimic what's found in car dealerships.
"This program is used eight periods a day," said Mark Hibner, the chair of the Applied Technology Department for Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211. "All eight periods, we have automotive students in these classrooms."
Several Palatine High students already are in the manufacturing workforce, pursuing their dreams. They include 17-year-old senior Antonio Sanchez of Arlington Heights, who said he is interested in metal precision manufacturing and has served an internship with Bingaman Metal Spinning Corp. in Rolling Meadows.
Tara Vege, a 17-year-old senior from Palatine, intends to major in biomedical engineering in college, with goal of producing prosthetics.
"My freshman year, we did a tour of all the applied technology classes, and I saw the manufacturing class and I kind of fell in love with it," she said.
Matt Eggemeyer, CEO of Keats Manufacturing in Wheeling, said his company employs four Palatine High students. The business, which specializes in precision metal stamping, has students helping to produce parts for garage door openers, circuit breaker switches and medical devices.
District 211 Superintendent Lisa Small said there's a need for skilled manufacturing workers locally and nationally.
"We are building a clear pathway from high school to the future," she said.
Michele Napier, the district's director of college and career readiness, said school officials have received feedback from the industry that its students are well prepared.