Students check out job scene at local tech manufacturers

More than 800 high school students from nearly a dozen schools across San Jose last week took their first step on a journey of possible career manufacturing paths.

With help from the silicon valley organization, NextFlex, the San Jose Economic Development Department and four school districts, 11 local manufacturing sites including Naprotek and Zoll Circulation opened their doors Oct. 5 and 6 to give tech-oriented youths a glimpse of daily operations as part of National Manufacturing Day.

Manufacturing jobs employ almost 167,000 people, or 16 percent of all workers, in the San Jose metropolitan area, including 65,000 in San Jose itself, according to silicon valley organization. And those numbers are rising; the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reports there are now nearly as many manufacturing jobs in the area as before the recession. With more competition expected, local businesses want to prepare students for those positions and ensure they can compete in the workforce after college.

“The skills gap leads to the economic inequity,” said the silicon valley organization in a written statement. “Silicon Valley is working to solve for this by taking an active role in workforce development, offering schools and students a chance to learn the skills necessary to land the job.”

Students learned that manufacturing involves more than just putting together parts on an assembly line.

“When I thought of manufacturing, I thought it was more like factory work and putting together simple parts, but after this tour it’s actually really interesting,” said Avantika G., a junior at Leland High School who toured Zoll Manufacturing last Thursday with her classmates. “This is a lot like what I want to do with computer science and artificial intelligence, so I might actually consider it” as a career.

Matthew H., who graduates next year from Pioneer High School, was interested in manufacturing before the tour and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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