John Deere in Paton to host Manufacturing Day event

DES MOINES, IA – Manufacturing Day is focused on raising awareness of today’s modern and high-tech job opportunities in manufacturing, one of the largest employment opportunities in Iowa.

National Manufacturing Day is Friday, Oct. 6 and events are being held in Iowa on that day as well as throughout the month of October to showcase manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacturing jobs today are highly technical skilled positions using robotics, automated machinery and screen technologies.

Events are planned in Paton that day, beginning at John Deere at 9 am and then crossing the road to Bauer Built.

According to Greene County Development Corporation Ken Paxton, a team from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute will attend the John Deere program. Paxton hopes to bring national exposure to Greene County.

In August of 2017, there were 214,800 manufacturing jobs in Iowa, reflecting a growth of 1,400 jobs since August of 2016, according to Iowa Workforce Development.
Manufacturing is the fourth largest employment sector in the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa has the third highest percentage of its workers in manufacturing among all states at 8.4 percent. Wisconsin leads the nation at 9.3 percent followed by Indiana at 9 percent.

Because today’s manufacturing jobs require higher skills, Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state is focusing on training Iowans for the jobs of tomorrow through the Future Ready Iowa initiative.

“Manufacturing jobs are no longer repetitive production line jobs,” Gov. Reynolds said. “These jobs are skilled positions that require advanced training, certifications and education, which is the focus of Future Ready Iowa.”

The goal of Future Ready Iowa is for 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Through the Future Ready Iowa initiative, the state has identified the top 10 job opportunities projected in Iowa requiring a certificate beyond high school between 2014 and 2024.

Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said Iowa is also focused on expanding Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in advanced manufacturing and encouraging more women, minorities, youth and people with disabilities to pursue registered apprenticeship programs.

Paxton and GCDC are partnering with Greene County Schools and Iowa Central Community College to establish a local registered apprenticeship program.

“Registered apprenticeship opportunities are an employer-driven model that allows registered apprentices to earn a paycheck while they learn,” Townsend said. “We encourage manufacturers to explore registered apprenticeship opportunities as a solution for filling the skills gap.”

Manufacturing Day is designed to showcase manufacturing opportunities and change the misperceptions that students, parents, teachers and adults job seekers have regarding manufacturing careers.

IowaWORKS offices throughout the state have collaborated with community colleges and manufacturers to help coordinate and promote Manufacturing Day events across Iowa. All of these events are open to the public.

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