The nationally award-winning North Louisiana Manufacturing Week will expand to two weeks, October 1-12, as demand escalates.
Today, the North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) announced more than 1,600 students will participate in 68 tours at 27 manufacturing plants and six manufacturing training programs across ten parishes in North Louisiana.
The 2018 North Louisiana Manufacturing Week is an annual celebration of National Manufacturing Day, coordinated by NLEP and the Manufacturers Managers Council of Northwest Louisiana (MMC). The event encourages the next generation of workers to explore manufacturing careers.
For the fourth year in a row, International Paper (IP) Red River Mill in Campti is a proud supporter, tour provider and Gold level sponsor of North Louisiana Manufacturing Week.
“The IP Way Forward is how we pursue our vision to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world,” explained Victoria Lemane, IP Communications Coordinator. “It’s going beyond just doing the right things; it’s how we create value for all stakeholders for generations to come. Part of how we achieve this is by investing in people. Manufacturing week is the perfect platform for investing in future generations.”
Several manufacturers are offering multiple tours throughout the two-week event. Teachers participating in the tours with their students were provided an educator toolkit that includes curriculum and videos to prepare their students for the tours and to have follow-up discussions afterwards. Students are also given a North Louisiana Manufacturing Week magazine, created by NLEP, which profiles different manufacturing careers.
Employees from Frymaster, International Paper Red River Mill, Weyerhaeuser Dodson Mill, Libbey and Red Ball Oxygen are profiled in magazine. These employees, working in occupations expected to remain in demand, will be interacting directly with students during tours to deliver a powerful message that manufacturing is a rewarding career path. They will share their educational and career journeys with students while giving them a firsthand look at the company and modern manufacturing.
North Louisiana Manufacturing Week is a program of NLEP and the MMC, and this year the event has sponsorship support from Omni Specialty Packaging, International Paper Red River Mill and Music Mountain Water. NLEP Senior Vice President Angie White has watched the program grow exponentially from 150 students and six manufacturers in 2014 to the huge event it is today.
“I send a feedback survey to teachers that participate in tours after Manufacturing Week wraps up, and increasingly, I hear from them that the tours have changed the minds of some of their students who were planning to go immediately to work after high school,” said White. “They are now considering technical training that could help them land a job at a company they toured. Manufacturers tell me that some students ask them while on tour if they can contact them when they graduate to come work for them. The experience really opens students’ eyes to the great career opportunities manufacturing offers. But technical training is required to qualify for many of the jobs out there.”