On Manufacturing Day 2015, Lampin hosted local students to provide a first-hand look at a modern manufacturing floor. We wanted to take the opportunity to raise awareness about the career opportunities in the Massachusetts manufacturing industry and address the commonwealth’s widening skills gap. By walking interested high schoolers around our facility in Uxbridge, we were able to show them what a modern day manufacturing floor really looks like.
Encouraging Students to Pursue Careers in Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry is facing a serious issue: Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are retiring every day, yet fewer young faces are stepping forward to fill the new openings. A decrease in vocational training in schools and the industry’s misguided stigma as “boring and dirty” has deterred many students from pursuing a career in manufacturing. Lampin, along with MassMEP and local educators, are working hard to change that perception by providing students with opportunities to gain first-hand experience in modern manufacturing facilities.
Today’s manufacturing industry is nothing like the dark, dingy machine shops of the past. Most machining operations are highly advanced, requiring computer programming, engineering, and hyper-precise mathematical accuracy. Careers in manufacturing are stable and offer an average salary of $77,000 a year, comparable to salaries for accountants, engineers, and physical therapists. This year’s student tour sought to demonstrate these incredible opportunities to students and, hopefully, align their perceptions to the realities of the industry. Below is a summary of our day.
8:30: Meet the President
Our president, Bill DiBenedetto, met with the students bright and early to introduce them to Lampin Corporation’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) community. Lampin is entirely employee-owned, meaning everyone has a vested interest in the success of the company. Mr. DiBenedetto explained the Lampin culture of cooperation and communication that ensures the success of its everyday operations.
8:40: Sales and Marketing
The next stop for the tour was Lampin’s sales and marketing department, led by Jay Milender, director of sales. Lampin combines traditional outbound marketing strategies, like providing sample MITRPAK gearboxes to potential customers, with modern inbound marketing strategies via our website. On our site, customers can request quotes and find links to our social media profiles, which help us build relationships with other industry experts. This part of the tour showed students how potential customers find us and get to know about our advanced machining services.
9:10: Customer Service
Our director of administration, Robin LeClaire, introduced the students to the administrative staff, who are responsible for fielding customer inquiries, order entries, and accounts receivable. Lampin forms long-lasting relationships with our clients, making customer service an important part of the business. Our industry relies on continued collaboration between customers and manufacturers. Building these relationships requires responsive, open communication, which is where our front office team shines.
9:45: Assembly and Shipping
Next, the students explored the assembly and shipping area, where subassemblies and custom parts (like the MITRPAK right angle gearbox) are put together by hand and prepared for shipment to the OEM. The students watched a MITRPAK being assembled and were then allowed to try it for themselves. The right angle gearboxes became souvenirs for the students to bring home as reminders of their hands-on experience at Lampin.
10:30: Turning and Milling
Lampin’s engineers at the turning and milling stations were the next to welcome the students. Here, the students were able to observe the operation of complex precision machining equipment, such as our new TSUGAMI TMU1R turning and milling machine, which is able to perform multiple operations in one step. Our experienced machinists operate a variety of CNC turning and milling equipment with the capability to produce parts with tolerances of up to .0002″, and were happy to demonstrate their knowledge to the students.
11:30: Conclusion and Lunch
Finally, the students gathered for a well-deserved lunch with their new friends at Lampin Corporation. They shared their thoughts on the tour, remarking that it was a lot cleaner and required more skill than they expected. Their first-hand look at Lampin inspired them to consider careers in manufacturing as a course of study for the future.
We believe that positive experiences, like this year’s MFG Day Student Tour, are great steps toward closing the skills gap in Massachusetts. Manufacturing is a vital industry, not just in Massachusetts, but across all of America; it provides thousands of employees with stable jobs and marketable skills and produces products and equipment that people depend on. It is time for the public perception of the manufacturing industry to change. With continued collaboration between local educators and motivated manufacturers like Lampin Corporation, Massachusetts can invigorate its most important job sector and bring the right students to a field where they will be most successful.