Program Helps Recruit Young Workers to Manufacturing Industry

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Oil isn't the only thing moving southwest North Dakota's economy.

Manufacturing also plays a part.

Industry leaders say they see a need for the younger generation to get on board.

Leaders of several local manufacturing companies are teaming up to tell younger generations about the opportunities in manufacturing.

Leaders in manufacturing will soon hit the road and speak with students across the southwest region.

"We want you to go get your education, but come on back home there's great opportunity right here," said Joe Rothschiller, president and COO of Steffes Corporation.

Steffes Corporation is just one of the manufacturing companies taking part in the "Dream It. Do It" Program. The goal is to inspire today's youth to consider jobs in manufacturing.

"We have careers and positions that need to be filled and this helps us come together as a team," Rothschiller said.

Eight companies in the southwest region are involved. They have a PowerPoint presentation they will share with students promoting careers in all of the companies. And there's opportunity.

"The Dickinson area and North Dakota in general has been very fortunate to have a strong, vibrant manufacturing group of businesses," said Guy Moos, president of Baker Boy.

Moos adds that some manufacturers originated in this region, and have provided careers for many in the local community. Leaders hope "Dream It. Do It" will remind younger generations of that.

"Today's manufacturing they're using technologies, they're using 3D CAD to prototype and plan things out, they're allowing creativity," said Ray Ann Kilen, director of the Strom Center.

Kilen says the Strom Center recognizes the future opportunities within manufacturing, and they work with people who want to become manufacturers in the southwest region.

Kilen says roughly 2,000-3,000 people in the southwest region are employed with leaders in manufacturing.