SOUTHHAMPTON, Pa.—A group of students and teachers visited NewAge Industries Inc. on Dec. 13 to learn about careers in manufacturing.
The group from Neil A. Armstrong Middle School in nearby Fairless Hills, Pa., was also participating in an annual contest. Produced by "Dream It. Do It. PA," the contest is designed to bring awareness of manufacturing careers to middle school students. The contest includes the production of a short video that highlights career opportunities at manufacturing companies.
NewAge CEO Ken Baker said he supported the project from the start.
"I believe it's important for kids to know that manufacturing jobs don't have to be boring," Baker said in a news release. "There are positions at NewAge that involve computerized testing and monitoring equipment, innovative machinery development, quality control and clean room operations, engineering and other advanced manufacturing techniques. They're jobs that may not require a four-year college degree, but STEM skills and a strong desire for continued learning definitely come into play."
The "Dream It. Do It. PA" challenge started in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley in 2013 and has expanded to include the greater Philadelphia area, Berks and Chester counties, and the Pittsburgh region. Schools are matched with area manufacturing companies, and students then visit those companies with their teachers. The students shoot video, took photographs, interviewed employees and afterwords edited footage to produce a video highlighting the types of advanced manufacturing careers available.
The program is called "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" and the videos will be voted on in February.
Several Armstrong Middle School students and two teachers toured NewAge Industries' silicone tubing production areas, plastic tubing extrusion rooms, custom hose assembly shops, product testing areas, quality assurance stations and its warehouse.
"The testing areas were quite popular," Baker said. "That's where we stress samples until they rupture and get to blow stuff up.
"The students and teachers were impressed with the scope of what we do here and seemed to really take it all in, watching how a product is made from start to finish. I hope the experience opened their eyes to the technical aspects and possibilities of manufacturing careers."
More information about the program is available here.
NewAge Industries, which began operation in 1954, manufactures plastic and rubber tubing in reinforced and unreinforced styles.