District 228 Celebrates Manufacturing Day

District 228 Celebrates Manufacturing Day

National Manufacturing Day is held the first Friday of October every year. The day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. This year, District 228 and several high schools across the South suburbs of Chicago decided to celebrate a couple of days early on Wednesday, October 3 in a joint celebration arranged in collaboration with South Suburban College and OAI Inc.

Students from Bremen, Tinley Park, Hillcrest, Oak Forest, Thornton Fractional North, Thornton Fractional Center, Thornton Fractional South, Thornridge, Thornton, Thornwood, and Illiana Christian high school gathered at South Suburban College's Oak Forest Campus at 9:00am where students heard from Ari Berdusis. Berdusis is an architect with Architectural Resource Corporation (ARC) who designed District 228's new field houses set to be finished in the Fall of 2019.

Photo of architect speaking with students

Berdusis spoke about the importance of understanding manufacturing and encouraged students to take advantage of the industry while it's at its peak.

"You are on the cutting edge of the future of this country," he said. "Manufacturing is a focus on improvement and I think there some very exciting things going on in the industry that will allow you to get access and exposure better than any other generation before you."

Photo of student using welding simulator

Students then broke out into classrooms at South Suburban College where they participated in various activities such as a welding simulator, manufacturing lab, and electronics lab. They also had the opportunity to learn about computer aided design and actually participate in the manufacturing process where they made bean bags out of paper and other basic supplies. They then tested their projects out in a game of corn hole ("bags"). Albert Letterman, a manufacturing consultant, and speakers from MI-Jack Corporation located in Markham, Graff Pinkert located in Oak Forest, and ITW Zip-Pak located in Carol Steam also spoke with students and lead them through demonstrations.

Photo of students participating in welding simulator

After lunch, District 228 students continued their day by visiting local manufacturing facilities. Bremen High School visited GC America located in Alsip. Tinley Park High School visited Atlas Putty Products located in Tinley Park. Hillcrest High School visited MI-Jack Corporation located in Markham. Oak Forest High School visited Camco Manufacturing in Crestwood. At each facility, students went on a tour, viewed a presentation, and spoke with professionals about their jobs and pursuing careers in manufacturing.

OAI Inc. is a non-for-profit that has been partnering with community-based organizations for over 40 years. They work to increase workforce education, training, and career opportunities for students and adults alike and were vital in connecting with these organization and bringing them together on this day for students.

Photo of students touring welding facility

Additionally, South Suburban College continues to be a strong relationship for District 228 as the college opens its doors and opportunities to students. Every student who attends a District 228 school receives one free college course at South Suburban College. If a student receives an A or B in that course, they then receive an additional free course. South Suburban College's Oak Forest Campus is also home to District 228's new Alternative Education Program called Delta Academy. The program, which opened in August, is aimed at helping at-risk students graduate on time and meet their needs in a non-traditional high school setting.

For more information about Manufacturing Day, please visit https://www.mfgday.com/. To learn more about District 228's Career Readiness program, please email Director of Career Readiness, Renee Mack at [email protected]

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