Patrick Taylor now has a deeper appreciation for factory workers –– and the work they do each day.
The Otto-Eldred High School senior said he is amazed to see how doing small tasks can amount to big projects, such as a Case knife.
“It looks really cool. It looks intriguing,” said Taylor, who was among area high school students who took tours of the W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. and Zippo factories, both in Bradford Township, as part of Manufacturing Day held on Thursday. That grassroots effort is a day set aside by U.S. manufacturers to improve public perception of manufacturing.
Misty Kness, warranty and repair manager at Case, took students on a tour of the Case factory.
“I absolutely love giving tours and being able to chat with the folks and share my experiences,” she said. “I enjoy when folks ask questions and become engaged.”
After the tour, Taylor said he is excited to get involved in the work force. He said he is planning to pursue electrical engineering after high school.
For Kurt Rinamon, the grinding and other manufacturing processes completed by hand at the Case factory stuck out for him, he said. Rinamon is a senior at Smethport Area High School.
Getting the students exposed to a local factory is a great thing, said Ed Reitler, a technology teacher at Otto-Eldred Junior-Senior High School.
"Inevitably you always have questions, ‘Where am I ever going to use that stuff?’ They (the students) just got to see it out on the floor,” he said.
At Case, students from Smethport and Otto-Eldred area school districts also participated in mock interviews and learned about the anatomy of a knife.
Kathy Miller, human relations manager at Case, said she conducted practice interviews and resume-writing tips. In some students, she saw potential candidates for the company, Miller said.
“Some students know what they want and where they’re going. I put that out there to the kids that in a few years we are going to need skilled workers here” as people retire, she said.
And Fred Feightner, spokesman for Case, said he is hoping that Manufacturing Day provided students with an introduction into manufacturing.
“It’s exciting to get the young men and women involved in manufacturing and get some feedback from them,” said Todd Yonker, operations official at Case.
The Manufacturing Day, which is actually celebrated across the United States today, is held annually by the National Association of Manufacturers. This was the second year that Case and Zippo took part in Manufacturing Day.