Heavy Metal Tour Opens A Window for Students to Know about Manufacturing Careers

On Oct. 4th, National Manufacturing Day, a group of area high-school students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, toured the manufacturing floors of Auto Meter Productions Inc., IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC., Skandia Inc., Clark Dietrich Building Systems, Sycamore Precision, 3M DeKalb Distribution, AutoMeter Products, Inc., Upstaging, Inc., and Cresswood Shredding Machinery.  Career Technologies programs of Kishwaukee College culminated the tour. This is the DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium’s (DOWDC)  seventh annual Heavy Metal Tour.  DCEDC/DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation is the administrator of this essential program.

Gene Fogle, DOWDC’s Industrial Workforce Development Coordinator, has organized manufacturing tours for 117 students from Sycamore, DeKalb, Rochelle, Genoa-Kingston and Hiawatha high schools, as well as the Kishwaukee Education Consortium. Students were taken through the plants to see first-hand the types of careers they could pursue after graduation.  “What I want students to do is to see the different vocations that are available to them in DeKalb County,” he said, “and be aware of the decisions they make in high school.”

Mary Grimes, a counselor at Sycamore, said many people, including herself, might not be aware of local opportunities.

“The idea is to understand that there are career opportunities that don’t require you to have a four-year degree right away,” Grimes said. “And that you can work your way up from an entry-level job to moving up to something more still, which is supported by the businesses because they want to support local people.”

DCEDC thanks all the partners and people who supported this tour.  Besides the companies and organizations mentioned in the above, they also include WALT LTD Tooling, NAPA Auto Parts of DeKalb and Vicki Fogle.  Thanks also to Dave Toney and Shaw Media/Daily Chronicle for the photos.