Students from 29 area high schools poured into Woodruff Career and Technical Centeron Tuesday for the first day of a two-day event providing information about careers in manufacturing.
Following plant tours of Excel Foundry & Machine in Pekin and Premier Fabrication in Congerville, students learned about Fab Labs while receiving “hands-on” demonstrations of 3-D printers, simulators and milling machines.
“Our goal was to give more hands-on activities and expand the scope of the event,” said Michael Sloan, dean of agriculture and industrial technology at Illinois Central College.
About 800 students are scheduled to take part in the two-day event that not only showcased job opportunities with companies like Caterpillar Inc. and Parsons Co. but also promoted personal manufacturing, said Jon Gant, a University of Illinois professor and director of the school’s Center for Digital Inclusion
“It’s all about making technology available to more people. Something like a 3-D printer sparks ideas in young folks’ minds,” he said.