In a pilot program, Humphrey Products recently partnered with the Kalamazoo (County) Regional Educational Services Agency (KRESA) to bring the attention of educators to the world of manufacturing in our home state of Michigan. On June 26th Humphrey hosted 20 teachers ranging from Kindergarten to High School Math and Science teachers, and from districts across the county, in an effort to help educate and inform them about the world of manufacturing. The program was facilitated by Kristen Garceau, Career Readiness Coordinator for KRESA, and David Maurer, Humphrey President and CFO. One of the goals of this partnership was to build a relationship with educators to help emphasize not only the importance of manufacturing but also the diverse workforce needed for success. As Dave Maurer put it, “As manufacturers, we have a strong need for a skilled workforce. However, we cannot expect the education sector to know what constitutes a “skilled work force” unless we’re prepared to show them what that is.” This pilot program is an effort to do just that.
When we think of manufacturing, we typically think of people fabricating parts from raw materials and assembling components into products for sale. While skilled labor is fundamental, educators often overlook many of the supporting functions in manufacturing. Functions such as: Engineering, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, Purchasing, Production Planning, Facilities Management, Safety and Compliance and Accounting. All of these functions require special skills and many manufacturers work hard to promote from within to fill these roles. When educators can demonstrate the real world application of the concepts they are teaching, students will be better engaged in their learning and, hopefully, retain more of it as they continue to grow.
The reality today is that manufacturing companies need a diverse influx of workers to both support their business and to grow it. Teachers are on the front line in helping students find their way to their future career paths. Through programs like this, teachers have one more tool to help steer young people to a path that they may not have previously considered or even been aware of. Humphrey strongly believes this ultimately benefits both the student and employers. After the success of this pilot, KRESA hopes to duplicate this model at additional manufacturers, as well as in other sectors of the local economy.
KRESA & Humphrey Products partnering for a brighter tomorrow through manufacturing, education and understanding.