A proclamation was signed this week, declaring Oct. 7 for National Manufacturing Day — a day set aside to focus on manufacturers in Jackson County.
On behalf of Mayor Jack Smiley, city Councilman Dwayne Martin, met with representatives from Southwest Technology Center or SWTC to sign the proclamation.
Manufacturing Day was first observed in 2011, followed by a presidential proclamation given by President Barack Obama in 2014 designating the first Friday in October as National Manufacturing Day.
The goal is to learn about the value the manufacturing industry brings to the nation and to local economies. According to the City of Altus, it is estimated that there are 90 manufacturers in Southwest Oklahoma employing about 11,350 workers and that those manufacturers generate about 9 percent of the region’s economy.
According to The Manufacturing Institute, an online group that promotes training workers for manufacturing jobs, “while Americans consider manufacturing among one of the most important domestic industries for maintaining a strong national economy, they rank it low as a career choice for themselves.”
On National Manufacturing Day, sponsors open their doors to the public to clear up misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and educate about the realities. Their main audience are the manufacturers of tomorrow.
“Manufacturers should build robust community outreach programs, design curriculums in collaboration with technical and community colleges,” according to The Manufacturing Institute website. “The U.S. has among the largest and strongest manufacturing industries in the world, and has demonstrated its ability to innovate and adapt time and time again.”
By working with educators, manufacturers work to address the skilled labor shortage, predicted by The Conference Board, a global economic research organization, to span the next 15 years. By connecting with students and educating the next generation of skilled laborers, manufacturers hope to bolster the image and prosperity of the manufacturing industry.
The SWTC at 711 W. Tamarack Road in Altus offers programs in aircraft maintenance, automotive maintenance and repair, construction trades, and electronic applications that serve the manufacturing industry. SWTC also offers short-term classes in welding and upholstery.
For more information call 580-477-2250 or visit www.swtech.edu.
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext.2077.