LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — On Friday, October 7, LSR7 students toured and engaged with three Lee’s Summit manufacturers including JCI Industries, Inc., R&D/Leverage, and Polytainers. Students observed advanced manufacturing processes in real-time and learned about prospective career paths in the industry, all while applying knowledge from the classroom.
Since 2012, National Manufacturing Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in October. The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council (LSEDC) has organized this effort locally for the last five years, remaining consistent with their innovative efforts to partner with area industries and educational institutions to raise awareness among students, parents, teachers, and the community in developing talent pipeline programs that support high wage, high demand jobs for the future.
The trio of manufacturers each offered a different interactive student experience. The day kicked off with a tour of JCI Industries, Inc., the leading regional provider of electrical and mechanical solutions for industrial, water and wastewater markets. Headquartered in Lee’s Summit, MO, JCI Industries provides extensive solutions including high quality pump and motor repair along with the ability to offer industry leading new pumps, motors, and mechanical seals to serve a wide range of industries.
Next, students explored R&D/Leverage, who specializes in food and beverage, home and personal care, and healthcare industry mold manufacturing. Allen Deatherage, National Account Manager at R&D/Leverage, detailed the importance of entering a line of work that balances stability and growth. Students observed production practices from start to finish, while engaging with employees who expressed passion for the work.
After enjoying a generously sponsored lunch, courtesy of R&D/Leverage, students received a special virtual presentation from State Fair Community College, who’s goal is to provide relevant and responsive learning experiences that empower students. Justin Wright encouraged students to explore avenues outside their comfort zone. “Even when you think you’re done with school, you’re not done learning,” said Wright.
Each company comes with a rich history, employee culture, and product. Students engaged with employees fresh to the industry, some even on their first day, as well as those nearing retirement. The day concluded with a presentation from Polytainers, a leading manufacturer of injection molded plastic containers. Team members shared testimonials about the culture, legacy, and impact associated with their work.
Bridging experiences between businesses and students doesn’t end on Manufacturing Day. The Lee’s Summit Workforce Alliance (LSWFA) fosters partnerships between the Lee’s Summit education system and industry to create a talent pipeline of the future. Interested in getting involved? Contact Ava Delsemme, Director of Business and Workforce Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org