Organizers of the Manufacturing Expo agreed that the event was a success.
The expo, which featured more than 20 local manufacturing businesses, was held Thursday, Nov. 8, at Washington High School.
“The feedback we’ve received from businesses and school administration has been really positive,” said Mark Wessels, Washington Area Chamber of Commerce president. “We’re really pleased.”
The expo was organized by the Chamber, the city of Washington, East Central College, Washington School District and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.
Students were invited to attend the expo prior to the public session. More than 300 students attended the expo, as well as 75 community members.
“I think it was eye-opening for the kids,” said Dot Schowe, PR director at East Central College. Schowe said she was impressed with the students, several of whom came during school hours and returned during the community session with their parents.
The last manufacturing expo was held in 2006.
“Comments have been so positive that the committee is talking about doing it annually,” Wessels said. Initially, he said, the committee talked about hosting a manufacturing expo every other year.
“Students were engaged in the way we hoped they would be,” he said. “They were asking questions about what the manufacturers do, skills for employment and other questions. We felt really good about it.”
Wessels said the idea first came from the Student-Business Partnership, which is facilitated by the Chamber. Wessels added that the manufacturing expo in Union, held in April, was a reminder to host one in Washington. The committee has been planning since about that time, he said.
Schowe said the planning committee will send out an evaluation form for exhibitors’ input and suggestions for the next expo.
Manufacturing expo participants included CG Power Systems USA, Clemco Industries Corp., Elite Survival Systems, Enduro Binders, G H Tool & Mold, Hellebusch Tool & Die, Intek Corp., Melton Machine & Control Co., Missouri Meerschaum Co., Missourian Publishing Co.;
Parker Hannifin-Sporlan Division, Rabco Midwest Inc., RTI Tradco Inc., Sheltered Workshops Inc., Stork Fabricators Inc., TEMCO Inc., The Chest Inc., Valent Aerostructures, Washington Metal Fabricators, Ziglin Signs Inc. and Washington Vinyl.
Representatives of East Central College and the Four Rivers Career Center, the 353 Redevelopment Corp., the Civic Industrial Corporation, Washington School District and SFBRHS also were in attendance.
The event was designed as an opportunity for companies to distribute job applications and accept resumes, as well as for students, business owners and community members to network.
Participants were able to gather information on career opportunities, expected salary ranges, education, training, experience and skills.