FABTECH Canada aims to attract young Canadians to the manufacturing sector
March 5, 2014 | By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Manufacturing has come a long way from past images, transforming into what is today a high-tech, leading-edge industry with plenty of job opportunities. That’s the message from the organizers of FABTECH Canada, the country’s largest and only exclusive metal forming, fabricating, welding, stamping, coating and finishing event, which takes place March 18-20 at the Toronto Congress Centre.
“Young people would be wise to look to manufacturing as a sound career choice, with its current skilled workforce shortage and wide range of financial and growth opportunities,” said Janine Saperson, event manager of SME, one of the organizers of the show. “The industry has become increasingly attractive to up-and-comers who recognize that manufacturing is a dynamic field that is constantly producing cutting-edge technologies,” she added.
The latest technologies will be on display on the show floor at FABTECH Canada. The show also includes a comprehensive conference with targeted technical, operational and managerial sessions, covering such topics as new manufacturing workforce solutions, best practices, industry trends and advances, the future of welding, and new applications.
Karin Lindner, author of the book, How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy?, is among the event speakers. In her book, Lindner emphasizes that now more than ever, it’s time to rethink, redefine and rediscover the sexiness of the manufacturing industry.
Up until now, “rather than being viewed as an important cornerstone to our wealth and prosperity, a career in manufacturing was looked upon as a possible option for those who are not smart enough to go to university,” she added. “This may have been true in the past, but it no longer applies today because skilled trades truly are excellent career options.”
Lindner says that parents, young adults, educators and guidance counsellors must be made aware of the incredible opportunities that exist in the manufacturing industry, and promote technical trade school and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
Gail Smyth, executive director of Skills Canada – Ontario, and a speaker at FABTECH Canada, emphasizes that it’s particularly important for young women to be encouraged to pursue careers in the skilled trades and technologies. Explaining that Skills Canada – Ontario starts educating girls about technical career opportunities as early as grade four, Smyth will share her organization’s innovative initiatives in a “Women in Manufacturing” panel discussion.
“There are many myths out there about the industry – from it being dirty and low paying, to lacking in opportunities – yet these ideas couldn’t be farther from the truth,” she said. “Young people, from elementary to high school and beyond, are encouraged and actually excited once these myths are dispelled and they learn about the many possibilities available to them.”
FABTECH Canada is hosted by SME, The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int’l (FMA), The American Welding Society (AWS), The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), and Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI). The event is geared towards the needs of Canada’s estimated 1.5 million manufacturing employees in industries ranging from automotive and energy to transportation and construction, as well as businesses that either produce or rely on equipment and machinery in their day-to-day operations.
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