October 11, 2013
2nd Annual Manufacturing Day Draws York Tech Students and Attention to the Skilled Labor Gap
career potential in the
manufacturing industry, Meritor Inc. opened
its doors to York County students and community leaders as part of a
nation-wide effort to attract the next generation of talent.
In addition to providing students an opportunity to see
manufacturing up close, the 2nd Annual National
Manufacturing Day brought much needed attention to the increasing
divide between available manufacturing positions and qualified
technicians to fill them.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), more
than 17 million Americans work in manufacturing jobs, and more than
600,000 jobs are unfilled because applicants are not adequately
trained for the technical jobs that often involve automation, robotics
and screen technology.
York Tech, with the region’s most expansive industrial technology
programs, is at the center of the solution to the training challenge.
But, it takes partnerships with industry.
“Educators can’t do anything without the full and complete support of
manufacturers, and Meritor has led the way in that effort,” said Dr.
Rutherford, speaking at the event. “Since the late 1980s, Meritor has
contributed over $162,000 in scholarships to York Technical College.”
The rubber meets the road at York Tech. “A great example of our
commitment to bridging the gap between industry’s need for qualified
technicians and student career preparation is our Technical Scholars
Program,” said Sidney Valentine, Associate Vice President – Industrial
Engineering Technologies. “We
place high-caliber students with sponsoring companies who then pay the
full cost of that student’s tuition and book expenses for as long as
that student is enrolled. For
years, we’ve been teaming up with some of the area’s leading
manufacturers, and we continue to add more and more sponsors to the
program.” It’s a win-win for
students, industry, and the college.
address to students, Dr. Rutherford spoke to the demand for skilled
technicians and the opportunities created therein.
“At York Tech today, we have over
400 students enrolled in advanced manufacturing related programs.
And here is the amazing part: the
job placement rate for those students is over 90%.
Now, what other program of education and
training can you go into at the college or university level and know
you have a better than 90% chance of going to work and making a better
than average wage?
There are none.”
Six York Tech
students and two Industrial Engineering Technology faculty members
were on hand to hear from guest speakers and event organizers
emphasizing the vital role manufacturing plays in the overall strength
of the US and world economy, and how rewarding a career in
manufacturing can be.
The work has changed drastically.
The technology has changed
And so has the training.
programs we have are not your grandfather’s tech school.
This is real advanced manufacturing.
It takes intelligence.
It takes commitment and dedication,”
said Dr. Rutherford.
Most importantly, it takes awareness
that there are unlimited possibilities.
About the Technical Scholars Program:
York Tech’s Technical Scholars program is
open to all full-time York Tech students enrolled in one of our
approved programs who maintain a GPA of 2.5 or greater, and are
available for 20 hours of work with the sponsoring company each week.
The sponsoring company supplies free
tuition and books, free tools and supplies, salary for work performed,
and a flexible work schedule for as long as the student is enrolled in
the program. Some sponsoring companies are also able to provide
For more information about York Tech’s Technical Scholars Program,
contact Mike Brumbach at 803-981-7124 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply to York Tech, visit:
York Technical College / 452
South Anderson Road / Rock Hill, SC 29730