Friday is the 7th annual National Manufacturing Day and Rockford Systems, LLC got a head start with an open house on Thursday.
A few dozen Jefferson High School students took a tour of the business, located at 4620 Hydraulic Road. So did members of the community — but the kids were the real target of the day.
Manufacturers are struggling with a shortage of skilled workers. In the next few years, 3.5 million jobs will open up, because of retiring baby boomers.
The open house was designed to show young people the exciting technology and change their perception of the manufacturing industry.
“I asked a couple of the kids if today had changed their impression of working in manufacturing, and it was pretty unanimous. They said, ‘Oh yeah, this is really cool. We hadn’t really ever seen any of these products in action,'” said Carrie Halle, VP of Marketing and Business Development.
Rockford Systems has another open house scheduled for Friday.
Next week, several hundred Rockford students will tour a dozen different businesses as a part of an extended manufacturing day.