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CVTC Event Showcases Area Manufacturing

The application of micro technology in regional products, the use of sound to test welding quality, and the formation of industry-education partnerships to prepare new workers are among the wonders featured March 7 when Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) hosts its annual Manufacturing Show.

Over 20 manufacturing companies will have displays about their role in their industries and in the Chippewa Valley economy, and will use the opportunity to recruit new workers as well. Members of the public will be able to learn about the great careers available in manufacturing for those with the proper training.

Joining those companies will be representatives of CVTC’s manufacturing programs: Electromechanical Technology, Industrial Mechanic, Machine Tooling Technics, and Welding/Welding Fabrication, as well as Manufacturing, Nano and Industrial engineering programs. Together CVTC and its private-sector partners will present the modern face of manufacturing, with its increasing use of the latest technology.

“This year’s show will have a strong focus on the skills gap – the fact that there are a lot of manufacturing jobs, but a shortage of people with the skills to fill them,” said Mark Hendrickson, special projects coordinator in the manufacturing area for CVTC. “We’re inviting employers in so they can tell about what they need in modern manufacturing employees.”

There will also be a strong emphasis on the technology involved in manufacturing today.

“People don’t realize how much of modern manufacturing technology is being applied locally,” Hendrickson said.

To demonstrate, presentations will be held during the event, from 3 to 8 p.m. at CVTC’s Manufacturing Education Center, 2320 Alpine Road, Eau Claire. Presentations will cover such subjects as the latest in metal-cutting technologies, the use of nano and micro technology to change properties of organic matter, and developments in types of metal surfaces.

R-Con, a Menomonie company, will demonstrate ultrasonic analysis of welds – using sound waves to look into the body of a metal weld. Realityworks, an Eau Claire company with a national reputation as a pioneer in simulation technology, will have a presentation on partnerships between industry and education. Participants will also be able to try their hand at welding on a simulator.

“The entire show will present a good overview of manufacturing careers in western Wisconsin,” said CVTC Dean of Industry, Agriculture and Energy Aliesha Crowe. “We have a great diversity of manufacturing companies in this area, many of them producing products that are getting attention worldwide. Attendees can learn more about these companies at the Manufacturing Show and how CVTC prepares workers for lucrative careers in manufacturing.”

Another of the highlights of the show will be the debut of an excerpt from the next Edge Factor video. The Edge Factor Show features action-packed episodes that unlock the exciting world of manufacturing, inspiring a new generation to explore careers in the field.

“We will preview the introduction to the latest video,” said Hendrickson.

Back from last year’s highly successful Manufacturing Show will be competitions involving area high school teams. For the Junkyard Battle welding competition, area high school teams will develop their school mascots through welding sculptures. A school logo design competition will demonstrate school teams’ machine tool skills.

In addition, two poster contests will focus on engineering technology, particularly micro and nano technology.

This summer’s NASCAR-themed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp will be previewed at the Manufacturing Show, with a demonstration of the model cars camp participants will be working on during the June 17-21 event.