Around 20 students clustered in a hallway on the first floor of Ivy Tech Tuesday afternoon, looking at potential career paths they could take.
The third annual manufacturing mini trade fair took place for students interested in advanced automation robotics technology program, mechanical engineering technology or electrical engineering technology.
Eight local companies – NSG Group, Makuta Technics, Nippon Steel and Sumikin Cold Heading Wire Indiana Inc., Knauf Insulation, Today Resin, Innovative 3D Manufacturing, Endress + Hauser and Brazeway Inc. – were represented during the event, which serves as an introduction between both sides.
Steve Bardonner, Dean of the School of Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering and Applied Technology, said he talked to the students beforehand about the opportunities in the field they are interested in.
Indiana is one of the leading states in manufacturing and there are two reasons why, he said.
The first is affordability.
“It’s very affordable to live in the state of Indiana compared to even the states around us,” he said. “We are very affordable.”
The second is tax incentives for manufacturing companies.
“Obviously they want to come here because they can get things going, they have an opportunity to keep people here if they get the right workforce and, of course, that’s what we’re doing is we’re trying to do that,” he said.
There are more than 50,000 unfilled positions in skilled trades in the state, he said. And the state is expecting as much as a 29 percent growth in the next six years.
Those expectations exist because of impending retirements and because more companies are moving into the state, he said.
Ivy Tech, 2177 Intelliplex Drive in Shelbyville, will host another mini trade fair today at 4:30 p.m. for students interested in the first responders field.