Local college gears people to train for manufacturing jobs

SES Manufacturing Operations, Toyota, and Brown Precision Engineering Company were at the training event.

Posted: Apr 21, 2018 6:13 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 10:51 AM

A major push in the Tennessee Valley to interest people in some of the hardest industry in which to find qualified workers,
manufacturing.

It's estimated there are 300,000 open manufacturing jobs nationwide, but not enough people to fill them. The advanced manufacturing job event was meant to show people the opportunities and skills needed for success.

Jonathan Goekler started his career as an electrical engineer. Now wants to go into advanced manufacturing. However, he knows there's a lot of training involved.

"They say you get out of high school and you don't have any experience. But now you're going to go this job that wants you to have the experience, but you don't have the experience or knowledge," Jonathon Goekler said.

He's gaining that experience through his education at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical college. Goekler said he's noticed the growth in Huntsville, and the manufacturing jobs coming with it. The Mazda-Toyota plant in Limestone County, for example.

"Electrical technology is forever changing. Just to keep up with the pace, is something to make a living on within itself," Goekler said.

SES Manufacturing Operations, Toyota, and Brown Precision Engineering Company were at the training event. Drake's State Interim President Chris Lewis told WAAY 31 there are thousands of open manufacturing jobs in Huntsville alone.

"In the next 2-3 years, we could need over 2,000 new people. So we need to get to work to make sure our community is trained and ready to go to work," Chris Lewis said.

But some people like Desmond Flowers are ready to work.

"Just get the job training and be certified. Help me get a better position in a job field I want to pursue," Desmond Flowers said.

President Lewis also said with the influx of new jobs, he's expecting enrollment to continue to increase.

He hopes event's like today's will also be a lure for those even considering work in the manufacturing industry.

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