by Tim O’Meara, President of GEMCITY Engineering and Manufacturing (GEM)
GEMCITY Engineering and Manufacturing (GEM) has been providing manufacturing services for 79 years. Our 250 employees working in our two operations: Philadelphia, Pa.; and our headquarters located in Dayton, Ohio–where we custom-make engineered equipment and provide contract manufacturing services.
We started off Mfg Day 2015 promptly at 8:00 a.m. with our 1st tour of the day. Three 6th grade home-schooled students came prepared, armed with note pads, safety glasses and a look of eagerness. Through our outreach and community networking, 60 demographically diverse STEM sixth graders went on the tour. A vast majority of the students touring GEM have an interest in robotics since most of them compete in a variety local, state and national robotics completion. The kids were super excited to discover we manufacture a unique robot used in defense and homeland security. With permission from our client , the students were able to operate the robot and take pictures resulting in a resounding success! Our approach was to show the progression of manufacturing a machined part to assembly and final test process. At the end of the day, 259 individuals went on the tour, 139 more than last year. Following the tour, of the junior and senior students surveyed, over half showed a sincere desire to consider a career in manufacturing. GEM employees understand the need to change the public perception of manufacturing and the desire to start engaging with the next generation of manufacturers. I’m proud to have the support of our employees in making next year even more successful.
In addition, we are fortunate to have the support of a strong manufacturing trade association, Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA), encouraging the Dayton-area manufacturing community to participate in Mfg Day. This year, 41 manufacturers of various sizes opened their doors for a modern day show and tell, sharing with the community what today’s manufacturers are all about. The DRMA has a specific committee whose focus is to collect data and publish best practices for running a successful Mfg Day event. The association has already started to work on making next year’s event even better.
Mfg Day is making a positive impact with the next generation of manufacturers, but there is still a lot of ground that needs covered. For those companies that participated in Mfg Day, thank you! And if you haven’t, take advantage of the opportunity that can help change the way manufacturing is perceived.