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Spika Design & Manufacturing Hosts National Manufacturing Day, 9/28-29, Lewistown, Montana

September 20, 2016View for printing

The event already has 500 students from Central Montana scheduled for tours, which is well over double the number of students that participated last year.

At the end of September, Spika Design & Manufacturing , HCR, Hi-Heat Industries, Move Bumpers, and Mid-State Signs are opening their doors to students for a national Manufacturing Day to promote the manufacturing industry to the Central Montana community.

"Central Montana is known as a mecca for manufacturing in the state of Montana, so we are really proud to show local students all the opportunities they have right here at home," said Bekhi Spika, Director of Marketing at Spika Design & Manufacturing. "Industry leaders and educators have come together to host an event that will be more exciting and engaging than ever before."

Central Montana's MFG Day event is set to take place on Wednesday, September 28, and Thursday, September 29. Students of all ages will be taken on manufacturing facility tours and guided through hands-on activities at the five different companies. At 5pm on the 29th, Spika will host tours and activities for the community at their shop on Cottonwood Creek Road. A presentation will take place at 6:30pm in the Spika shop with talks from industry experts, including Paddy Fleming from Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, Casey Schreiner from the Department of Labor, and Scott Anderson, Principal at the Billings Career Center for high school students.

"The best thing for our industry is to have students actually do something with their hands," said Spika. "The more they can engage with our industry, the more fun they'll have with the event."

Spika said they also want to educate the older students about career opportunities in the industry and to talk about educational and employment opportunities after high school.

Wednesday 9/28

- 9am-3pm | Pre-scheduled student tours at Spika, HCR, Hi-Heat, and Mid-State Signs

Thursday 9/29

- 9am-3pm | Pre-scheduled student tours at Spika, HCR, and Move Bumpers

* Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will be traveling with students to the different manufacturing tours

- 5pm-8pm | Spika's shop is open for the community MFG Day

* Tours and manufacturing activities available for all ages

- 6:30pm-7:30pm | MFG Day Program at Spika Design & Manufacturing with notable presenters from the industry

* Paddy Fleming, Director, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center

* Casey Schreiner, State Workforce Investment Board Director, Department of Labor & Industry

* Scott Anderson, Principal, Billings Career Center

Contact Bekhi Spika if you are interested in scheduling a tour during the student hours | | 406-535-5678

According to the National Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing industry is facing a critical shortage of workers with a projected two billion jobs going unfilled in the industry between now and 2025. With many manufacturing workers retiring out of the industry and very few youth joining the industry, manufacturing is experiencing a skills gap in which there are not enough trained, skilled people to fill the open positions. Combine this national skills gap with the shortage of workers in Montana - and Fergus County's 3.3% unemployment rate - and you have a critical shortage of skilled workers available to fill Central Montana's manufacturers' open positions.

Spika is excited for the great turnout at this year's event, but says MFG Day wouldn't be such a success without the efforts of the local Dream It. Do It. program.

Dream It. Do It. is a national program started by the Manufacturing Institute that works to change the perception of the industry and inspire next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. Local manufacturers, educators, and community supporters such as the Job Service, the county commissioners, and local economic development came together this summer to launch the program in Central Montana. The group meets on a monthly basis to discuss ways to coordinate and execute on education-industry partnerships, such as MFG Day. Lewistown is the pilot city for the first efforts of the Dream It. Do It. program in the entire state of Montana.

To sign up for a tour or activity during MFG Day, contact Bekhi Spika at or at 406-535-5678.
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