Manufacturing Day, according to mfgday.com, is a “celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.” Mold Craft participates in Manufacturing Day by inviting local schools to tour the campus and see what Mold Craft does. Mold Craft hosted White Bear Lake High School students as well as first year manufacturing students from Dunwoody Technical College to go through the shop and talk with Mold Craft’s hard-working craftsmen and craftswomen.
Manufacturing Day Student Tours
The tours started with a greeting from the VP of Engineering and Co-owner of Mold Craft, Justin McPhee. Justin spoke to the students and gave a brief description and background of the company describing that Mold Craft is a micro mold manufacturer that builds molds with extremely tight tolerances. After giving an overview of what to expect on the tour, he explains, “Anyone can buy the machines we have, but it’s the men and women we have working here that really sets us apart.” Justin then asks the students to split into groups for a more intimate tour of the facility.
During Manufacturing Day, the students split off into 8 person groups to visit all the different stations. Most of the tour was in the shop where each student got to see where Mold Craft does their hard milling, electrode manufacturing, sinker EDM, wire EDM and mold assembly. The students got to interact with the employees and ask them questions while they watched the employees demonstrate what they do every day. It was easy to see how excited and passionate the employees were about their jobs when they were talking to the students. Todd Larson, Mold Craft shop supervisor, used a high-powered microscope to show the students that Abraham Lincoln does indeed sit in the Lincoln Memorial on the tail-side of the penny. Each student got an up-close look at every step of the mold manufacturing process which is a valuable experience for a high school student who is interested in going into the manufacturing industry. It is also a valuable experience for Dunwoody students because they can ask more technical questions that they might be interested in learning a little more about.
The Difference Between a 2-Year and 4-Year Education
After the students tour through the shop, they got to meet with members of the design team and see what the design process is for the molds that Mold Craft produces. The design team had some parts that their molds created and encouraged the students to interact with the pieces. After the students heard about the design process they met with Jim Currey who talked to the students about the difference between a 2-year education and a 4-year education.
Jim explains that students who get a 2-year education can get to work faster and with less debt than those who go to college for 4 years and inversely, those with a 4-year education graduate with 2-3 times more debt in twice the time. Because of this, students with a 2-year degree have an opportunity to make more money in the long run without the burden of having to pay off debt over the span of many years.
Finally, Jim explained that students with a 4-year education often struggle to find work. There could be 100 applicants for one job. In the manufacturing industry, a lot of companies are struggling to find employees. So, while one person might be in a pool of 100 candidates, all of whom are fighting for the same job, another person could be getting recruited by 10-15 companies to come and work for them.
Students Visit the Mold Craft Tech Center
Once the moldmaking tour was over, the students were brought over to the Mold Craft Tech Center to see injection molding in action using our Battenfeld MicroPower15T. The students got to see the presses that Mold Craft has as well as the newly installed class 100,000 clean room. Once the students saw the Tech Center, the students got back on their bus and away they went.
Mold Craft Strives to Change Student’s Lives for The Better
Mold Craft cherishes the opportunity to make an impact on these students’ lives, and Manufacturing Day is one of the great opportunities to do so. It is an opportunity for them to show the community that manufacturing is not what it used to be 100 years ago; dirty, dark, and dangerous. Instead it is a bright, vibrant community where employees find real purpose and truly enjoy what they do. Mold Craft will continue to support Manufacturing Day for years to come and look forward to greeting students at the door next October for Manufacturing Day 2019!