Waverly Manufacturers Host Tours for Manufacturing Night Event

posted in Economic Development on November 8, 2018

Three Waverly manufacturers opened their doors to more than 100 middle and high school students and parents for Waverly’s first Manufacturing Night event on October 30th.

Students from Waverly-Shell Rock, Clarksville, Denver, Janesville and Waterloo school districts learned about careers in manufacturing and opportunities for employers to assist with the cost of their education when pursuing careers in the manufacturing field. Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, welcomed attendees in the opening session and spoke about the strong presence of manufacturing in Iowa and the Cedar Valley.

Students and parents then boarded buses for tours of United Equipment Accessories, TDS Automation and GMT Corporation where they had the opportunity to see first-hand what a modern manufacturing facility looks like. Many were impressed to find clean, safe, bright, highly-technical facilities that offer high paying jobs with good benefits and promising career paths.

Bryan Benham, Industrial Technology Instructor at W-SR High School and an enthusiastic advocate of getting students out of the classroom and into real world environments said students were impressed with how supportive the companies are in helping their employees grow both educationally and within the company. “They were also shocked that not all manufacturing is the same”, Benham noted. “GMT, TDS and UEA are all different in what they do”.

Echoing the value of the event, Daniel Hanawalt, Business Development Manager at United Equipment Accessories added, “It’s of critical importance to our future that we help young people learn and get excited about opportunities in manufacturing. UEA was thrilled to be part of the first Manufacturing Night and is looking forward to the next one.”

The event concluded with a drawing for three scholarships provided by GMT Corporation, TDS Automation and United Equipment Accessories. The winners were Adam Hein, Amon McAllister and Alex Haaland, all seniors at Waverly-Shell Rock High School.

“This was a great event, celebrating and connecting our state’s top industry – manufacturing – with the bright young people who will lead it into the future,” said Durham. “The focus on Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs was especially gratifying, given the value we place on them in the state. These are great opportunities for employees to earn while learning and for employers to address workforce training and retention needs.”

The event was planned and sponsored by Waverly-Shell Rock Schools, GMT Corporation, TDS Automation, United Equipment Accessories, Hawkeye Community College and Waverly Economic Development.

A high quality of life, friendly and progressive merchants, and a college town atmosphere; this is Waverly, Iowa.