Jed Anderson, CEO of Provo, Utah–based Progress Mfg. (which owns Fastway), recently invited more than 200 Utah Boy Scouts to the company’s manufacturing facilities to learn about American-based industry and careers that are available in the manufacturing sector. Anderson hoped that the experience would spark young interest in machinery and the educational opportunities that can lead to such jobs—and perhaps begin to address a nearly 50-year decline in American manufacturing workers.
“In the past kids could learn about manufacturing positions in high schools and vocational schools,” Anderson said. “Now they are likely to graduate high school and not have any experience using machinery. We want the next generation to understand the value of American manufacturing and why it is important.”
Tour attendees learned about the wide variety of departments at work in a manufacturing facility such as the one at Progress Mfg., including engineering, marketing, production, maintenance, human resources, accounting, and others. Though the group expected to learn about engineering and production, they were treated to the full array of roles inside the facility, including sourcing, packaging, warehousing, and shipping.
“My group was . . . surprised to learn of the amount of testing that . . . engineers conduct on a weekly basis, and asked detailed and intelligent questions,” said Boy Scouts of America Scout Master Nathan Pollister. “We appreciated the opportunity to visit the company and help kids learn about career paths that interest them.”
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