EMU’s College of Engineering and Technology hosted 150 Plymouth-Canton high school students for the national Manufacturing Day, which was Oct. 4. This day is dedicated to correcting misconceptions about modern-day manufacturing.This will be EMU’s third year holding such an event.
The students started their day at MIAT, which is a technical college in Canton whose curriculum covers aviation and power generation. The students got a general tour of the facilities and showed some of the different paths manufacturing can take you. Following MIAT, they headed to McKenny Hall at EMU.
Gerald Lickey was one of the instructors chaperoning the event. He has been teaching automotive repair for 13 years and is the teacher to many of the students that came to EMU. “Most of these students are juniors and seniors in my classes, so they are particularly interested in automotive-related fields,” Lickey said.
The presentation began with Thomas Paden, who is the President of the Canton Chamber of Commerce. It is a nonprofit organization that serves to ensure that businesses in the area stay successful. He has attended the event all three years at EMU.
Paden said he believes it is very important to expose students to the paths and opportunities in manufacturing. “Some of the myths surrounding manufacturing is that it’s dark, dingy, dirty, unstable but it’s quite the contrary. Really, manufacturing is high-tech, it’s clean and bright.” He believes this day is successful in its mission as he has witnessed increased interest in manufacturing over the course of the last three years.
Dr. Mohamed Qatu, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, followed by discussing the types of salaries students could expect after 5 years of experience in engineering and technology fields, giving extra incentive to enter into the field. He told one anecdote about a graduate in Cybersecurity. When she finished her four years at EMU, she began working in Silicon Valley for Snapchat; her salary is $150,000 a year.
The engineering and technology field is very broad, so Qatu touched on the number of different programs the CET has to offer. Some of these programs include Information Assurance & Cyber Defense, Information Technology and Product Design Engineering Technology.
Chad Woodring, a licensed mechanic, helps the students in class with the hands-on things. Woodring attended the events last year and noticed the effect it had on the students in the weeks following the event. According to Woodring, students were still talking about some of the ideas and things they saw on Manufacturing Day last year. To him, this means it is having a positive effect.
The event concluded with the students and instructors receiving a tour of some newly renovated labs in Sill Hall. The types of new labs include virtual reality, robotics, vehicle cyber security and 3-D printing. Dean Qatu reports that Sill is projected to be completed by fall 2020.