Aspiring (and inspiring) young manufacturers visited by state cabinet official

Published 07.18.2022

Engineering & Industrial Design Technology
Welding & Metal Fabrication
Faculty & Staff
Polymer Engineering
Automated Manufacturing & Machining
Engineering Technologies
Skills Gap

Allen captures footage as (from left) Secretary Weaver, Rice and Webb talk about the career opportunities represented by Penn College's various manufacturing majors.Weaver snaps a cellphone photo of the impressive equipment in the Shell Polymers Rotational Molding Center of Excellence (where, Rice noted, even the yellow steps were made in-house).In a plastics lab, the acting secretary converses with young visitors and faculty about their experiences so far. Among those sharing insight are Mark A. Sneidman (left) and Joshua R. Rice (background, behind Weaver), instructors of plastics technology.The acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development visited campus on Monday to talk with Penn College faculty and high school students participating in the four-day Thingamajig Fabricators Pre-College Program that was partially funded by the Governor's Office.

“The Wolf Administration is proud to support camps like these and introduce the next generation to different ways they can work in the manufacturing industry,” Neil Weaver said. “It’s exciting to be here to see firsthand the excitement and enthusiasm these students have for manufacturing. From what I’ve seen here today, the future of Pennsylvania manufacturing is in very good hands.”

Weaver and Webb emerge from the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center for a campus stroll to other sites.Campers, some of whom traveled hours from home for the participatory pleasure of a hands-on summer adventure, take a break from designing toolboxes in the CAD lab to talk about that attraction to applied technology learning.Weaver traveled to Penn College to assess the summer camps' success in sparking interest among future manufacturers and their parents. Mission accomplished!Gov. Tom Wolf had earmarked nearly $80,000 in grants to Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs, a charitable foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, to partner in six Summer Manufacturing Camps this year and another dozen in 2023.

The acting secretary (whose father, Dean, earned an accounting degree from the college in the 1960s) earlier checked in on two other camps – "Circuits, Tech and Beyond" in St. Mary's and "Bioengineering and 3D Printing" in Philadelphia – to hear students' reasons for attending and to gain feedback on their interactive immersion into the curriculum. At Penn College, the students will receive hands-on experience with 3D design software, machining, CNC automation, plastics and welding; their new skills will be incorporated into building a toolbox, a machinist's hammer and a center punch (all of which will be displayed during a Thursday closing showcase for parents.

The camp also attracted WBRE/WYOU's Jazzmyn Allen, who toured campus with the acting secretary and communications director Penny Ickes. She talked with Weaver; Webb; and campers Noah Benoit-Jean, of Horsham, and Taylor Anthony, of Bloomfield, New Jersey, both rising freshmen, for a piece that premiered during the 6 p.m. newscast.

(Watch PCToday for more on Pre-College Programs.)