Each year, the state of Florida sponsors a “Manufacturing Day,” which is officially held on the first Friday in October. The event is organized in conjunction with the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, the Manufacturers Association of Florida, Florida TRADE (a consortium of 12 Florida state and community colleges) and various regional manufacturing associations. Throughout the state, businesses from a wide variety of manufacturing industries host tours of their operations for students who are planning their futures. As part of the 2015 event, more than 4,000 students across Florida took part in 160 tours.
In Polk County, Polk State College is instrumental in organizing Manufacturing Day activities, and this past fall, more than 260 high school and technical school students toured eight high-tech manufacturing sites throughout the county. PCA’s full-line plant in Winter Haven, which is located in Polk County, partnered with Polk State to host tours of their facility.
The Manufacturing Day tours are intended to introduce students to career opportunities in the manufacturing and technology industries. They also serve to recruit new workers for the more than 340,000 jobs in Florida’s manufacturing industries.
According to Howard Drake, Director of Applied Technology Grants at Polk State College: “There’s a graying of the manufacturing workforce. It’s important that we introduce younger people to maintain a competitive advantage.”
PCA Winter Haven is proud of its association with Polk State College and the opportunity to showcase its operations to a large number of enthusiastic young people.