This past week, Ferriot enjoyed a visit from students at Akron’s NIHF STEM High School where students had the opportunity to learn how things are made and to see what a potential career in manufacturing looks like. Guided by Ferriot employees, students toured the facility and received a hands-on experience while learning about technologies used in manufacturing.
According to President, Craig Ferriot, “The campus visit by NIHF students last week was both exhilarating and rewarding for all our associates. Everyone here took great pride in sharing what they do, as well as highlight some of the advanced technology they work with every day. The students were interested in finding out what types of products we make and how they’re made.”
"By the look on their faces, I thought we were highly successful in dispelling the many rumors around how a career in manufacturing is anything but the dirty, greasy and nasty unskilled environment they may have thought it was,” Ferriot stated. “In fact, they found out just how technically advanced some jobs really are because of the integration of different types of highly automated equipment, robotics, computer aided design and analysis software, error detection systems, scanners and testing systems utilized in the manufacture of products today.
“In many ways, this event enabled our employees to convey their passion in such a way that these young professionals could understand and connect on a different level with today’s environment in manufacturing.” Ferriot concluded, “Our goal, is to help shine a light on manufacturing in such a way that young people are better informed, comfortable and energized to someday seek careers in manufacturing right here in Akron, Ohio.”
The Ferriot Team commented on the experience:
- Ferriot Molding Manager, Aaron Dadisman, enjoyed the experience of sharing the Ferriot story and his career path. He was intrigued by the level of interest students had. “The best thing I heard from a student was the question of how injection molding relates to high and low volume products. It showed me that some students look beyond just the basics.”
- Director of Quality, Rich Hodnick stated: “I enjoyed the experience and opportunity to give insight to the students on possible career paths they may or may not have even considered. I think it is important for young people to experience the opportunities first hand vs. just a classroom setting.”
- Dale Leopold, General Manager, American Original Building Products: “It was rewarding for me to see the students actively listen and engage in a new subject—and ask questions to learn more.” Regarding the student’s interests, Dale commented, “They showed curiosity in many different areas, some liked the impact testing and seeing how much force it would take to break the parts, some were most impressed with how siding is actually made, Two girls I remember were very interested in the color test and they were in search of the perfect score.”
- George Popov, Quality Supervisor: “I was impressed by the level of thinking an interaction by the students.”
- Amy Mathia, Project Manager: “Deciding what path to take after high school is a difficult decision to make. I hope they now have a better understanding of what a manufacturing environment is like and if that is the path they would like to pursue.” Amy continues, “Some of the students showed a strong interest in Engineering and Project Management. If they would like a follow up visit to learn more about this part of the process at Ferriot that would be welcome.”
- Ron Pack, Manufacturing Engineer, demonstrated a collaborative robot (cobot), allowing the students to interact with it. “It was good to see younger people interested in what we do.”
In our next blog, we'll share several photos of the STEM school student's tour of Ferriot and share some additional information on the processes and technologies they had a chance to see firsthand.