Manufacturing Day returns in-person as PCC, partners welcome students back to OMIC
Photos and Story by Alfredo V. Moreno
More than 280 middle and high school students from seven different school districts convened in Scappoose on Oct. 7 for the first in-person Manufacturing Day since 2019. Held at both the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) Research and Development Center and, for the first time, Portland Community College’s recently completed OMIC Training Center, students and community members were able to experience live demonstrations of 3D printing, laser cutting and virtual welding, as well as other engaging hands-on activities that sparked creativity and showcased the latest opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
The event, which was produced in collaboration with regional industry, education and workforce development partners, is one of the largest of its kind in Oregon and part of the national MFG Day effort. Representatives from more than 40 local companies and educational institutions were also on hand, including new PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings.
“Manufacturing Day is particularly important because it gives us an opportunity to not only celebrate how far we’ve come, but also to look to the future and recognize the leaders of tomorrow,” Bennings said. “We have an obligation and responsibility to provide them with the possibilities, as well as the space, to learn and build the skills needed to be successful.”
PCC’s OMIC Training Center, built from the 2008 and 2017 PCC bond measures, is designed to inspire and prepare Oregon’s workforce for good-paying jobs and careers in advanced manufacturing. In the end, students benefit from industry-driven training and Oregon employers are able to hire workers who have the most current skill sets.
The training center offers a variety of manufacturing-related training programs, ranging from traditional career and technical education to apprenticeship models that combine on-the-job training with classroom and lab instruction. With an emphasis on craftsmanship, professionalism, and placing graduates into high-demand manufacturing jobs, students can complete an apprenticeship program and/or an associate degree or certificate leading to an advanced degree.