Manufacturers looking for new employees advertise plastics industry technology, discounts

It’s production month at Cornerstone Building Brands Inc. based in Cary, NC.

The largest manufacturer of outdoor construction products in North America employs around 20,000 people in around 100 locations, including 30 manufacturing facilities, where many jobs are vacant as the demand for vinyl cladding and windows remains high.

Manufacturing Day is usually celebrated on the first Friday in October, and this year more than a dozen plastics processors, as well as machine and plant builders, took part to demonstrate the wide range of opportunities the industry has to offer.

The Plastics Industry Association, a Washington-based trade group, sponsored MFG Day, an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute (MI), the nonprofit education and staff development partner of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Chrys Kefalas, vice president of brand strategy at NAM, said manufacturing as a profession is viewed as outdated and uninspiring by many job seekers looking beyond the industry.

“You can’t imagine roles outside of assembly lines. They really see us as an industry with a single career, ”Kefalas told manufacturers in a webinar about what to highlight in October.

With that in mind, some companies run events all month long, while others participate in a year-long initiative called Creators Wanted. The aim is to promote modern workplaces with advanced technology related to automation, 3D printing and robots in order to attract potential talent.

Cornerstone sponsors Creators Wanted, an MI campaign to build tomorrow’s workforce by inspiring and educating the next generation of manufacturers.

Rose Lee, President and CEO of Cornerstone Building Brands, said this year’s reach is especially important for companies trying to rebuild their workforce amid the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective September 6, Lee was named to replace James Metcalf, who was retiring.

With annual sales of $ 2.29 billion, Cornerstone is the second largest pipe, profile and pipe extruder in North America, according to the latest Plastics News ranking.

Lee is taking over at a time MI says there are nearly 900,000 vacancies in manufacturing – a record for the industry – and 4 million jobs to fill by the end of the decade.

“[There is] an unprecedented need for professionals who can develop, implement and operate the technologies necessary to manufacture the products that sustainably grow our communities, “Lee said in a press release.” It is critical to our company and countless others To help bridge the skills gap that exists today to build the high performing manufacturing workforce of the future. “

Cornerstone invited students and community members to a siding in Martinsburg, W.Va. on October 1, and will begin programming at a Windows factory in Dallas on October 15, a siding in York, Neb., On October 22, a metal coating plant in Middletown, Ohio on October 26th; a window plant in Welcome, NC on October 27th; and an engineering products plant in Houston on October 28th.

“Our teams work together to develop outdoor solutions that meet the structural, environmental and aesthetic needs of our customers across North America and strengthen our economies,” said Lee.

According to John Budreau, director of new business development at PTI Engineered Plastics Inc. in Macomb, Michigan, one of the biggest challenges is continuing to change the negative perception of manufacturing in order to fill the talent pipeline.

“The narrative should instead convey that manufacturing jobs can be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling as you have the opportunity to bring new and innovative products to market,” Budreau said in an email.

In April 2020, for example, PTI was operating around the clock to manufacture ventilation components as part of the $ 490 million contract with General Motors and Ventec Life Systems.

During a virtual event on October 1 at Noble Plastics Inc., which serves the energy and defense markets, Missy Rogers pointed out to student audience that the manufacturing area at the Grand Coteau, LA facility is not lined with assembly workers.

“There are a lot of robots that do the repetitive work like clipping, trimming and cutting. It’s all automated, so our employees are mostly inspectors. They look at parts, check parts, and count and weigh parts, ”said Rogers.

Noble employees helped redesign the BGM-71 TOW (Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided) rocket for a customer.

“This is a device that has been around for decades. It was heavy. It was awkward. It made a lot of noise and it was a lot of money. It was made of metal,” Rogers said. “We have been involved in the re-engineering in composites and plastics from the start. We pride ourselves on producing a range of materials and components for this system that will help make our armed forces safer.”

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