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Penn College offering summer manufacturing experience

Pennsylvania College of Technology will expose high schoolers to the marvels of manufacturing and the sector’s rewarding career possibilities, thanks to a grant-supported initiative.

From July 18-22, the college will host the Thingamajig Fabricators Pre-College Program for students entering grades 9-12. Participants will learn how everyday objects are designed and fabricated while receiving hands-on experience with 3D design software, machining, CNC automation and welding. Students will use their new skills to fabricate a toolbox, hammer and nail punch.

Penn College faculty will lead individual workshops in the school’s state-of-the-art labs. Sessions will be complemented by guest speakers and tours of regional manufacturing sites.

The program is supported by a $2,500 grant from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, the foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. A financial contribution from Lycoming Engines has helped lower the cost of registration.

“We are excited to offer manufacturing experiences to high school students,” said Bradley M. Webb, dean of engineering technologies, who spearheaded the college’s grant application. “Manufacturing fuels American life and provides tremendous opportunities for rewarding careers. We are hopeful that this program will lead more high school students to consider a future in manufacturing.”

In 2019, the average manufacturing worker earned $88,406 in pay and benefits, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, the average worker in nonfarm industries earned $71,390.

A study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute projects a shortfall of up to 2.4 million skilled workers through 2028. There are currently about 500,000 job openings in manufacturing.

“Many of our students who graduate with a manufacturing-related associate or bachelor’s degree have multiple job offers before receiving their diploma,” Webb said. “Their technical skill set is in high demand. They truly are tomorrow makers.”

The cost of the Thingamajig Fabricators Pre-College Program is $325 and covers all activities, meals and on-campus housing. Registration information is available at the program webpage. Students who complete the program and eventually enroll at Penn College will be eligible to receive $1,000 off their tuition per year.

For information on Penn College’s various manufacturing degrees and other programs offered by the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For more information about grant-funding opportunities, faculty and staff may contact Grants & Sponsored Programs at ext. 7580 or through its web portal.

The college is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.

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