Lean and Green: Next Generation Careers in Technology

Last Friday, Horst Engineering participated in a student and educator expo at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut. Lean and Green: Next Generation Careers in Technology was another step in the right direction. The expo was focused on manufacturing, green technologies, lean enterprise, and sustainable manufacturing practices. I attended the expo with our Controller/Human Resources Manager and our Human Resources Administrator. More than 400 students and teachers were bused to MCC for the day long event. The students and teachers participated in workshops that were taught by members of the business community and the academic community. Additionally, more than 20 businesses, including Horst Engineering, had trade show style booths filled with information about our products and high technology manufacturing career opportunities. Our neighbors were Adchem, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, Whitcraft, LLC, Barnes Aerospace, GE Aviation, Hamilton Sundstrand, General Dynamics, Kaman Fuzing, UTC Power, and others. There were large companies (e.g. GE) and small companies like us.

Connecticut’s economy will continue to deteriorate unless more focus is put on the manufacturing workforce. Manufacturing is the foundation of Connecticut’s economy and the various stakeholders need to collectively work to change the stigma attached to the sector. 30 years of outsourcing, layoffs, and decline have conspired to weaken this foundation. This most recent expo is another action toward reversing the trend. The Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the Next Generation Manufacturing Center, the Connecticut Community Colleges, and the National Science Foundation joined forces in this effort.

I shook hands with a couple of hundred students and educators. I asked the kids what school they were from. I asked them what grade they were in. I asked them what their interests were. I asked them if they had relatives in manufacturing/machining. I asked them if they were planning to go to college. I asked them if they worked part-time. I asked them if they had ever taken a “shop” class. I peppered them with questions to gauge their interest. I quizzed the educators too. Oh, and our team answered a lot of questions about our business and our industry (precision machined components for aerospace,  medical, and other high technology industries).

From all of this market data, I made some interesting assumptions. The students that had the most exposure to manufacturing (from relatives or teachers) were the most interested in engineering and manufacturing careers. The students from the more affluent communities were more apt to be college bound. The students who had part-time jobs were more manufacturing and engineering oriented. The students who were mechanically oriented (e.g. cars, bikes, motorcycles, etc.) were more interested. The boys were more interested than girls. It was all un-scientific data, but I took the pulse of crowd.

I was mostly encouraged by the group. Sure, there were moments of immaturity, but heck, they are kids. I was most impressed with the crew from Manchester High School. They had a very caring teacher/career counselor who was obviously pushing them to develop job skills. Each Manchester kid had their own business card. It listed key contact info, interests, and strengths. Each card was uniquely created to show their personality. One student had a monster truck on his card. I grabbed that one! Another had flowers and colors. She wanted to be in the medical sciences. I was very impressed to see the effort. That group wasn’t just there for a day away from school and the free food. Kudos to the teacher.

My voice was hoarse by noon, but I felt like I had learned something new, done my part to promote manufacturing, and gotten a few recruiting leads for Horst Engineering.

1 Response to “Lean and Green: Next Generation Careers in Technology”

  1. 1 The Manufacturing Skills Challenge & Goodwin College | Life Adventures Trackback on 22 March 2013 at 9:54 am

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Horst Engineering Family of Companies

Cross Spikes™


I never post about food. However, this is the second time this week that I’m posting about food. These #vegan dishes at Empress by @theprivegroup were awesome. #instavegan #singapore Everything worked out fine for @trailrunningmom After a little stress, they had her race packet and bib number at the @metasprintseries venue and she kept it upright on the bike! 🚴🏽 She was very pleased with 2nd place 🏆 in her age group at her first road #Duathlon.🏃🏻There are no mountains ⛰ and there isn’t much singletrack in #singapore but it’s still a great city for endurance sports. It looked like there were more than 1,500 athletes at the 3K/18K/3K race with LOTS of kids too. Great vibe! #triathlonsg #teamhorstsports 🇺🇸 Our kids may recognize this great Shoppes @marinabaysands feature from six years ago. I had forgotten how cool it was. #singapore #marinabaysands First time on a road bike for @trailrunningmom In advance of her first ever road duathlon @metasprintseries I taught her some tips & tricks including the do's/don'ts of shifting strategy, cornering, blocking (not), drafting (not), passing, flying mount/dismount, etc. It was fun! Even though she was on a "rental" too, I couldn't keep up on my "steed." #triathlonsg #singapore #teamhorstsports @thecheryltan #cheryltan #singapore #singapore Name those tunes. 11-year-old Feng E is making a name for himself in Asia and beyond. #guitar #fenge #singapore 🎸 @trailrunningmom led #yoga at #ypoedge #singapore 

@ypoglobal #yogini Tremendous #vegan dinner @metasingapore Without a heads up, Chef Sun and his team whipped up an amazing seven course + three “snacks” meal for @trailrunningmom and me, that was worthy of their @michelinguide star. We sat at the counter and watched every step in the process. Chef said that with advanced notice (of our diet), he “would have done better.” We appreciated his perfectionism, but it was just fine. #metarestaurant #instavegan #michelinguide #singapore

Follow me on Twitter



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 299 other followers

%d bloggers like this: