Friday, October 7, 2022
Henderson County, NC – In honor of National Manufacturing Day, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development (HCPED), Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS), and three existing industries in Henderson County (Kimberly Clark, Linamar Light Metals, and Meritor) hosted industry tours for 25 high school juniors and seniors. National Manufacturing Day is held each year at the start of National Manufacturing Week, as a chance to showcase manufacturing career opportunities.
Since 2012, HCPED has facilitated industry tours through its workforce efforts known as: Made in Henderson County. Working closely with HCPS, tours have been customized to students who have shown an interest in the field. The tours allow students to see first-hand what manufacturing looks like today and how crucial manufacturing is to our local economy. Manufacturing careers make up 12% of the workforce in Henderson County and see average annual salaries exceeding $55,000, nearly $12,000 higher than the county average of all sectors.
“Henderson County Public Schools is committed to encouraging our students to exit high school with a plan for their future. Manufacturing shows students a real-life option that would allow them to stay here in their community.” says Director Scott Moore, “The employers in this field are some of the best and we are grateful for the opportunity each year to show our students these really unique places to work in our county.”
By touring three different locations, students were able to see the diversity in the segment and the latest innovations, as well as how safe and exciting the work environment can be. The students started their day at Linamar Light Metals where they were able to see how the company manufacturers lightweight powertrain and structural automotive components through high-pressure aluminum die casting and machining. Next, the students migrated to Meritor for a tour and lunch. Off the heels of a $41,000,000 investment, the students could see how the 40-year old employer continues to advance and grow, manufacturing over 85% of the axels for container trucks on the road today. Finally, tours ended at legacy employer, Kimberly Clark. A mainstay in Henderson County, Kimberly Clark showcased their processes in the non-woven arena and how they have stayed innovative through the years.
“Getting young people in our community into potential employers in manufacturing is crucial to the success of our economy,” says The Partnership’s Board Chair Steve Gwaltney, “it allows us to keep educating the public on what manufacturing really offers its employees. Our industries are ready and willing to continue to support this community with stable and well-paying jobs.”
In addition to tours, the Made in Henderson County workforce development program markets the Made in Henderson County apprenticeship program facilitated by Blue Ridge Community College, manages hendersoncounty.jobs, launched the On the Right Path workforce video, and soon will unveil a Made for this Campaign, highlighting how manufacturing careers are for everyone. For more information on manufacturing careers, please contact Emily Martin ([email protected]).
The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, Inc. is a 501(c)6 organization that works to: retain and attract quality jobs; solicit new business compatible with the assets and values of Henderson County; promote Henderson County’s business image; assist expansion of existing companies; and enhance Henderson County’s overall quality of life. Since 1993, it has assisted in the creation and retention of over 3,500 jobs and in bringing almost $1 billion of taxable investment to Henderson County.