Builders, producers and inspiring industrialists gathered to celebrate the world of manufacturing on Wednesday.
The all-day event kicked off at 8 a.m. where local students got a chance to take a look at what could be their future.
More than 2,000 students from 30 school districts gathered at the Bayfront Convention Center to take part in the annual MFG Day Showcase.
This event is put on annually by the Business and Manufacturing Association
Many students are excited about what lies ahead as one association highlights decent-paying tech careers in the manufacturing industry.
According to the vice president, Erie is known as a strong manufacturing base and this event grows along with the industry every year.
“The most inspirational is to have all the students here, that’s really great that they chose to be here and because they are our future. We want them to stay in Erie, don’t feel like they need to look outside of the Erie, PA or northwest PA for their career,” said Matt Clark, vice chairman of the Manufacturer and Business Association of Northwest PA.
Students took advantage of over 60 educational interactive exhibits and displays that focus on critical manufacturing topics.
One speaker chose to inspire students by focusing on careers that are based on STEM and robotics.
“Career planning really starts when they’re young, especially with females. The younger they are, we want to make sure we start to make a presence known there. There’s a field where both men and women can really strive and make a difference,” said Corey Adams, education program manager for Universal Robots.
Adams said the earlier that students are exposed to their options allows them to creatively think about their own unique skills.
Students we talked to said it was great learning about opportunities for them in what is usually considered a male-dominated industry.
“It really inspired me to be a woman and be not afraid to do what I want to do,” said Kamryn Hanson, eighth grader at Wattsburg Area Middle School.
“Women are now coming out more than men and women can be stronger now,” said Graci Kosiorek, another eighth grader at Wattsburg Area Middle School.
And Sully Sullenberger, a retired airline pilot who is best known for the “Miracle on the Hudson,” was Wednesday night’s keynote speaker to continue the manufacturing celebration.