CTC students visit local manufacturing facilities
By Ken DeLaat
Two busloads of students from the Career Tech Center poured into the Bucher Hydraulics plant Thursday morning for a tour of the Newaygo facility Another group would be visiting the Magna plant in the afternoon.
These visits were part of Manufacturing Day, an event launched in 2012 by the Obama administration to celebrate the manufacturing industry and more importantly to break down old stereotypes about the industry and the work force needed to drive this vital component of the economy.
This is not your father’s manufacturing plant. For those who might have been exposed to the culture of manufacturing in decades past the Bucher plant, like most industries of its kind these days, is high-tech, sleek and generally much quieter than the factories and shops of yesteryear.
The students were broken up into groups and led on tours of the impressive facility that creates hydraulic products for a number of industries around the globe.
Our tour was led by Plant Manager Scott Pokora who took us to the many work sites either explaining the procedures or enlisting the help of his staff to explain their assigned tasks.
“This place is amazing,” said Jay Wiersema of Fremont HS.
With future plans of going into mechanical engineering he spent much of the tour asking questions of Bucher Production Manager Nick Ragsdel who is, coincidentally, a mechanical engineer.
After the tour there was interaction between students and plant personnel.
“We’re always looking for people,” said Greg Bergman as he spoke to Brandon Goudy of White Cloud and Kyler Korstanje from Holton. “ If you’re willing to work, show up when you’re scheduled and can get along with others there’s good pay and benefits to be had.”
It’s all about workforce development,” said Mark Guzniczak echoing a familiar message that has begun to resonate throughout the educational system.”We need a trained workforce to fill the jobs that are already here and the jobs that will be coming in the very near future.”
This event was co-sponsored by Bucher Hydraulics, Magna Mirrors, Newaygo County Economic Development Office, The Right Place, Michigan Works West Central and the NC RESA Career Tech Center.