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PTECH Students Celebrate Manufacturing Day

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Young woman looking at a test tube

PTECH student shows a test tube of JUST Water

What do approximately 200 ninth and tenth-grade students from Saratoga Springs, Queensbury, Hudson Falls, South Glens Falls, Hadley-Luzerne, and Corinth School Districts have in common? As participants in the Southern Adirondack PTECH program, on October 5 they gathered at SUNY Adirondack for Manufacturing Day to join in a nationwide celebration of modern manufacturing that aims to inspire future manufacturers.

After watching a motivating series of videos during the welcome session, the students broke into groups to tour the facilities of RASP, Essity Professional Hygiene, Fort Miller, Hollingsworth & Vose, Plug Power, Irving Tissue, JUST Water, and Duke Concrete Products.

At JUST Water students had the opportunity to see a Tetra-Pak machine in action and learn how the plant packages about 9,000 bottles of water per hour.

Jim Siplon, a company official, told the students that if they studied mechatronics, “they could be one of the select few people in North America to work on this machine.” Tetra-Pak sells mostly to Europe.

“That is just one of the cool things you can do in manufacturing,” said Siplon.

His advice to the group when talking about careers was to “take the experience of working at a regional business and turn it into what you want to do.”

man telling students about manufacturing

Jim Siplon explains the packaging process.


Derek Lloyd shows students DOT block

Derek Lloyd shows students DOT block

At Duke Concrete Products students found out about sigma six, lean manufacturing. The company is a New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) certified manufacturer for cement block. Company Owner, Derek Lloyd, told the students about the opportunity to become master block certified, which is a nationally recognized certification. Students were also interested in plant safety. Other groups learned the ins and outs at the six business they visited.

An interactive tabling event with hands-on activities and demonstrations allowed employers to tell students in-person about manufacturing careers and related educational pathways. The students concluded the day with a panel discussion with student ambassadors from the Early College Career Academy Advanced Manufacturing program and employer representatives. Students reported back from their group tours and shared information that they gathered during their site tour: Who did we meet? What kinds of manufacturing processes did we see? What kind of jobs are available at the companies we visited? Overwhelmingly, company representatives said they need young talent and opportunities such as Manufacturing Day to encourage students to seek careers in the region.

The event is a result of the work of the STEAM Committee—a group of representatives from local  businesses, various SUNY Adirondack faculty and staff and WSWHE BOCES, and is supported by the SUNY Adirondack Foundation and Irving Consumer Products, Inc. Participating companies include: Cambridge Valley Machining, Castle Power Solutions, Espey Manufacturing, Finch Paper, Fort Miller Group, Hollingsworth & Vose, Irving Tissue, JUST Water, Rasp Inc. and SheetLabels.com.

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