Manufacturing Week Kicks Off in Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd kicked off Manufacturing Week, a ­celebration of Tennessee’s manufacturers aimed at encouraging students to pursue careers in the growing manufacturing industry in Tennessee. The Brookings Institution recently ranked Tennessee No. 1 in the U.S. for advanced industry job growth.

Over the next five days, Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd will visit manufacturing plants across Tennessee and meet with high school, middle school and community college students.

“Manufacturing has long been a hallmark of Tennessee’s economy,” Haslam said. “Manufacturing Week is about encouraging young Tennesseans to seriously consider getting the post-secondary credentials needed to pursue a career in manufacturing,” Haslam added. “By touring manufacturing plants, and hearing from Tennessee companies and employees, students will get a hands-on learning experience about the types of highly-skilled jobs available in our state.”

Nearly 344,000 Tennesseans work in manufacturing and since 2010, Tennessee has gained more than 45,400 net new manufacturing jobs, the fifth-largest increase in the U.S.

“Roughly one-in-four Tennesseans who work in manufacturing are age 55 or older,” Boyd said. “That means a big portion of this workforce will be reaching retirement age in the next decade. Our task is to help Tennessee companies find the next crop of talent. To do so, high school students need to be aware of the wealth of companies in their own backyard and also know the skills they need to attain these jobs. Manufacturing Week will get students on to the factory floors of Tennessee companies and serves as a great way to ensure our future workforce will consider careers in advanced manufacturing, engineering and other high-skilled jobs.”

Several dozen Tennessee manufacturing companies, Tennessee community colleges and chambers of commerce are hosting events this week and throughout the month of October to celebrate National Manufacturing Day, which is on Oct. 7.

Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd joined The Tennessee Manufacturers Association, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Beretta USA officials at a kickoff event Monday at Beretta’s Gallatin manufacturing plant.

This week, Gov. Haslam will tour DENSO’s Maryville facility with students and meet with students participating in a simulated work-environment program at General Motors’ Spring Hill plant.

Commissioner Boyd will also make stops at Gestamp in Chattanooga, ATC Automation and Ficosa North America in Cookeville, Smith & Nephew in Memphis and Bridgestone Americas in La Vergne, among other events at local high schools and technical centers throughout Tennessee.

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