MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- Cincinnati area manufacturing jobs are going unfilled and experts say the problem is projected to get worse.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, seven out of 10 Americans consider manufacturing a backbone of the economy, but only three in 10 want their kids to go into manufacturing.
Additionally NAM predicts that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be created in the next 10 years, but more than 2 million of those will go unfilled.
This Friday is National Manufacturing Day, but local players have extended the awareness project to an entire month. They expect to show thousands of local students the new face of manufacturing.
The Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton has organized Manufacturing Month for the last five years.
"I am excited by this program because Manufacturing Month gives our students a chance to see what types of jobs are available in the area and what qualifications are required for these jobs," said Rick Pearce President and CEO of the Middletown Chamber of Commerce.
"It gives students the opportunity to interact with local professionals where they can ask questions and see how businesses actually operate," said Pearce.
Teresa Crim is a teacher at Madison Jr./Sr. High School. She said that students are fed stereotypes that manufacturing takes place in a dark and dreary warehouse.
"Manufacturing field trips open their eyes to the new vision of manufacturing, which includes technology and automation, as well as the human factor," Crim said.
By the end of October, participating businesses and schools hope to run 4,000 students through local facilities.
"Without Manufacturing Month, Middletown high school students might not be aware of the opportunity we have so close by," said Allyson Turner, a MHS career and college readiness coordinator.
"I hope my students gain knowledge of what manufacturers do, why they're so important to our city and why they should consider manufacturing as a possible career pathway," Turner said.
Companies like Clippard Industries and Festo Corporation will allow students to tour their facilities and to interact with employees.
Additionally, Butler Tech, which has helped plan Manufacturing Month, is working to "combat the illusion that manufacturing careers are dirty, low-paid and don’t lead to advancement. It is much the contrary. Through our partnership with various local manufacturing companies, we will show that there are many career paths to be explored in the industry and many jobs unfilled each year."
And for students not interested in manufacturing, a similar month is in the works to give students information about jobs in the medical field.