Rowan-Salisbury Schools Celebrates Manufacturing Week
Fifteen Rowan County manufacturers met with nearly 300 RSS students last week

In celebration of National Manufacturing Day 2021 (Oct. 1), the Rowan EDC teamed up once again with Rowan-Salisbury Schools (RSS) to engage our local business community by showcasing the significance of manufacturing to students across our county.

Fifteen Rowan County manufacturers and nearly 300 students participated in the week-long festivities, which included in-person and virtual plant tours, as well as a panel with manufacturing leaders, students, teachers and instructors.

“This national holiday empowers our manufacturing community with an opportunity to engage directly with not only job seekers but also with their future workforce,” said Kendall Henderson, Rowan EDC Director of Business Services. “RSS Students received an up-close look at local manufacturing facilities and had the chance to interact with operational leaders, asking them about everything from open jobs and career advancement opportunities to their products and processes.”

Participating manufacturers included Chewy, Custom Golf Cart Supply, Custom Plastic Forming, Granges America, Henkel, Hexagon Agility, Imperial Supplies, McKenzie Creative Brands, Power Curbers, Schneider Electric, Shat-R-Shield, Snow Joe, Teijin Automotive, Trelleborg, and Turnkey Technologies.

“It’s important for RSS students to participate in Manufacturing Week because it raises their awareness of local manufacturing and exposes them to the manufacturing industry,” added Dominique Bates, RSS Associate CTE Director of Work-Based Learning and Community Partnerships. “Students are informed on skills needed to obtain employment in manufacturing. Hopefully that exposure and awareness of manufacturing processes and opportunities in Rowan County can help our students make informed post-secondary career decisions, as well as help the local manufacturing industry retain local talent.”

Manufacturing has continued to be a significant industry in Rowan County. Per the most recent U.S. Census data, 16.8% of Rowan residents are employed in the manufacturing field. That rate is well above the U.S. average of 9.9%, as well as North Carolina’s rate of 11.8%.

“Exposing our students and educational allies to the manufacturing industry allows us a crucial opportunity to identify and address the technical skills needed to continue to evolve this sector,” Henderson added. “Manufacturing is a serious economic driver in our community and the sooner we can plant the seed and expose our students to this remarkable industry, the more prosperous and successful Rowan County will be.”

Manufacturing Day originated in 2012 to show students, parents, and the public what modern manufacturing is all about, and how much it has been changed by the fourth industrial revolution to create opportunities such as bioengineers, data analysts and robot operators. As of July, the manufacturing industry had close to 900,000 open jobs, a deficit which could grow over two million by 2030 according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. Manufacturing USA, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Manufacturing Institute and MEP Centers celebrate the occasion every October to continue to raise awareness and help fill those openings.