This was my first year participating in manufacturing day, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the national spirit of creativity, and appreciation for makers in America.
AMERICAN MADE MOVIE
OMEP’s manufacturing week kicked off with a screening of American Made Movie at the quintessentially ‘Portland’ theatre, Cinema 21. It was a packed event, including a special address by Senator Jeff Merkley’s staff. He stated: “It is my firm belief that if we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America, which is why boosting our manufacturing sector must be among our top policy priorities. Made-in-Oregon manufacturing drives our economy and is a major source of the good, living-wage jobs that are so crucial to our state.”
After the film our lively Q&A session lasted an hour. Manufacturers, economic development partners, and workforce innovators spoke to Chris, John and Dr. Potiowsky on the panel. They asked questions about consumerism, off shoring and the economic importance of manufacturing.
MAYOR CHARLES HALES KICK OFF
The following morning, Michelle Fusak and Heather Cutler attended a kick off event with Portland Mayor Charles Hales at Benson High School. The mayor addressed over 40 students with an inspiring speech about the importance of creativity, math and science in manufacturing our future.
Later that day, I attended a tour of the state of the art facilities at Vernier in Beaverton, along with Representative Suzanne Bonamici. We followed 40 students around the Leed certified building, examining their shipping facilities, research and development areas and even got Dave to go down the large slide! It was a joy to see the children delighted by the large table of elements on the wall, and even more interesting to hear their questions about what it’s like to work in manufacturing. This wasn’t the only tour taking place! Over 600 students in the metro area toured 40 manufacturers. Read more about Vernier <<
Our workforce development Roundtable with Representative Bonamici was a success thanks to the wonderful staff at Q&D Manufacturing. Robin Klein, our gracious host, gave us a tour of his facilities. We heard from a variety of staff members about their experience as manufacturers, on the job training, and how they plan to advance their careers. On the shop floor, staff showed us how they were implementing lean principles to make their workplace better.
PORTLAND MADE COLLECTIVE
Finally, I attended an event at the inspiring ADX Maker Space. This collaboration hub allows individuals and organizations access to the tools they need to create. ADX also offers classes allowing members to share tools knowledge and experience. Earlier in the day, they hosted a student tour, which is shown in the photos above. At the evening event, pizza and beer accompanied discussions by Commissioner Nick Fish, Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey and Congressman Earl Blumenauer. If you haven’t visited ADX yet, I encourage you to do so – this space is key to education and skillbuilding for the future workforce. Learn more about Portland Made .
Many thanks to our partners who made this day possible. Special thanks goes to all the collaborators at School to Work, Portland Community College, Worksource Oregon, Mt. Hood Community College, Work Systems Inc. and Clackamas Community College.
Also, thank you to our sponsors including Pacific Continental Bank, Lam research, Aerospace Portland, Boeing, PDC, Q&D Manufacturing and Vigor Industrial.