Why manufacturing may surprise you

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By Susan Pohorski

If you think manufacturing is dead or dark, dirty and dangerous you’re in for a surprise. Manufacturing employees operate high-tech, computerized machinery in clean, safe environments and in many cases earn more than the average Wisconsin private-sector workers. Come and see during Manufacturing Month.

The Wisconsin Technical College System is joining seven other partner organizations to celebrate the contributions of manufacturing and show off career possibilities in industry. During the month of October, Wisconsin residents can visit manufacturing facilities throughout the state. Technical colleges are also showcasing degree and certificate programs leading to careers in industrial fields.

WTCS currently offers more than 40 educational programs in manufacturing. Students learn to use the latest equipment, machinery and automation to make them job ready in a relatively short time frame. Eighty-one percent of graduates from Industrial Division programs are employed in their field within six months of completing their programs.

Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector employs nearly 450,000 workers and contributes $50 billion to the state’s economy. Average pay for workers in the state’s manufacturing sector is $52,400 per year.

“For over a century, Wisconsin’s manufacturers and technical colleges have worked together,” said Morna Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). “We’re grateful for all the industry experts who serve on our governing boards and program advisory committees.”

We invite you to take this opportunity to see for yourself what goes on in some of the state’s largest companies. Learn what events and tours are happening in your community and put one on your schedule.