Cookeville – National Manufacturing Day is an opportunity to inspire the next generation to start their education and careers in advanced manufacturing. Tennessee Tech’s manufacturing and engineering technology department is doing just that with a day of celebration scheduled for October 7.

An estimated 100 students and educators from high schools and community colleges across the state are coming to learn and experience the latest technological advancements in manufacturing and its future workforce in the industry. Registration for the event has already closed this year.

“We are not going to make them experts in manufacturing, but we want to expose as many processes as we can to them and hopefully stimulate interest,” said Fred Vondra, chair of Tech’s Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology.

Students and faculty will showcase the manufacturing space through hands-on demonstrations and activities. Students will be able to experience 3-D printing robotics and metal casting practices. Other activities include tours of laboratories and a presentation from keynote speaker Tennessee Board of Regents Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Michael Tinsley, among other demonstrations. The event is made possible by sponsorships from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), SME Nashville Chapter and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). 

“We’re trying to get young people interested in our program,” said Vondra. “Thanks to our efforts in last year’s manufacturing day and other recruitment efforts, this fall, we had the largest freshman class in our program ever. We’re really proud of that. That’s what we’re hoping to do with this event is just to expose them to a variety of different manufacturing processes and some of the cool equipment they get to play with.”

Tennessee Tech is ranked as the number one public university in the state, according to Money Magazine, as well as a “Best National University” by U.S. News & Report. The university offers more than 200-plus programs of study and Tech grads leave with the least debt of all public universities in the state. In fact, based on total cost and alumni earnings, Tech provides students with the highest return on investment for any public university in Tennessee, according to PayScale.

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