Students participated in the IMTS “Smartforce Student Summit” which featured fun, interactive exhibits for the exploration of manufacturing applications and job skills. In addition, students were able to interact with exhibitors on the main show floor who explained and demonstrated the latest manufacturing technology. The technology on display included self-driving vehicles, robotics applications, 3D printers, virtual reality and more.
While at IMTS, students were also able to meet Steve Gray from Schwarz Bros Manufacturing, Ray Whitehead from Pegasus Manufacturing and Andrew Heath from Jupiter Machine Tool. All three area manufacturing leaders provided advice and wisdom to the students about the importance of manufacturing and the benefits of choosing a manufacturing career pathway.
This exciting opportunity was made possible generous support from local sponsors. These included the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), Jupiter Machine Tool, Pegasus Manufacturing, Schwarz Bros Manufacturing, Galesburg Area Vocational Center and Western Illinois Works. HyVee on E. Main Street and Lieber’s Box Car Express generously contributed breakfast and boxed lunches for the student delegation.
“This experience changed my perspective about manufacturing by broadening my horizons and showing me how much more is out there in the machining industry.” Alec Byerly, GAVC Student from Knoxville High School
“Everything related to manufacturing starts in these exhibit halls and hallways that you are going through today. Not just the technology, but the relationships and networking too. Today was a great opportunity for you to see the best and brightest aspects of the manufacturing and technology industry.”
Andrew Heath, Vice President of Jupiter Machine Tool, Inc.
“The United States will need an additional 3 million manufacturing workers to fill jobs over the next decade. Knox County is no different – our local manufacturers need more talented workers. KCAP is addressing this issue by working closely with educators and industry leaders to boost interest in manufacturing among our area’s youth. Tuesday’s event was a great opportunity to open some eyes about the future of manufacturing.”
Ken Springer, President Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development