Manufacturing Day 2016

Manufacturing Day: Inspiring the Next Generation of Manufacturers in DuPage County


Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

For Manufacturing Day this year (Oct. 7, 2016), here are some events in DuPage County that high school students can attend to learn about manufacturing and the career paths it has to offer.

Why Manufacturing?

To get a sense of the strength of manufacturing in DuPage County, here are a few eye-opening statistics:1

  • Manufacturing is the fifth largest industry in DuPage County, accounting for one in every ten jobs.
  • There are over 2,000 manufacturing companies in DuPage County, employing over 51,000 people.
  • In July of 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce named DuPage County as one of twelve “manufacturing communities” in the U.S.

Yes, manufacturing is something to celebrate in DuPage County, and the 2016 Manufacturing Day celebration is already beginning.

Manufacturing Day Events in DuPage County

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is and what it isn’t.

This year so far, there are six DuPage County employers hosting Manufacturing Day events for students, their parents, and others interested in exploring manufacturing careers:

Flexco (Downers Grove)


The first Manufacturing Day celebration will take place on Thursday, October 6th at Flexco in Downers Grove. As an industry leader since 1907, Flexco makes products that enhance belt conveyor productivity.

Flexco HR Coordinator, Juli Kieronski explains, “We have chosen to participate this year as we have recently put additional emphasis on ‘building a pipeline’ of potential individuals who have an interest in starting a career in manufacturing.”

“We feel it is important for the public to get a real view of manufacturing and know that it is a viable career path for students who may not want to pursue a traditional 4-year degree,” Kieronski continues.

“Our hope is that we will create a level of excitement in the younger generation through on-site demonstrations, interactive events, and a question/answer session.”

The first Flexco tour will begin at 10 am and the second one at Noon. The company must limit registration to a maximum of 25 individuals per group so please encourage your community to register early to secure a spot.

For event details and to register, visit the Flexco page at

AFI Industries (Carol Stream)


AFI has been in business for 40 years providing fastener solutions to all major industries like Automotive, Military, Aerospace, Lawn and Garden and more. AFI is looking for mechanically inclined individuals to work in the manufacturing plant and learn the trade.

On Manufacturing Day, Friday, October 7, the Carol Stream manufacturing company will open its doors to students, to showcase their 110,000 sq. facility and to educate them about the company’s manufacturing processes.

For event details and to register, visit the AFI page at

Avanti Engineering (Glendale Heights)

Avanti Engineering

Established in 1972 by CEO and founder Joseph J. Bratta, Avanti Engineering, Inc. is a family-owned business that’s committed to providing high-quality, precision-machined parts at affordable prices.

“We are holding a Manufacturing Day event again this year, Friday, October 7 from 9am -1pm because we want to provide students with rich and meaningful career exploration experiences,” says Juliana Lerario, Controller of the Glendale Heights company. The company extends its invitation to local high schools and colleges to show students, teachers and parents that manufacturing is an exciting, viable career to consider.”

Lerario further states, “Manufacturing Day has also been a great way to bring national attention to the industry in our state that directly supports high wage, high skill jobs and careers. It also has been a great way to bring parents and communities across Illinois together to learn about the manufacturing industry and its huge impact on our state’s economy.”

For event details and to register, visit the Avanti Engineering page at

JD Norman (Addison)

JD Norman

JD Norman Industries, Inc. is a diversified manufacturer of metal components and systems with operations in the United States, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“We are excited when we think about Manufacturing Day and the opportunity to participate in such a special occasion,” says Anna Cobb, Human Resources Manager at JD Norman Industries. “We look forward to being able to host the event at JD Norman Industries in Addison, IL this year. This is a great way to celebrate our industry and to engage and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.”

Cobb goes on, “We want to open our doors to our community, show them what we do every day by hosting interactive activities, and dispel common misperceptions about manufacturing. We encourage everyone to celebrate with us by visiting us on Manufacturing Day.”

JD Norman invites students to their event on Friday, October 7, to see firsthand what manufacturing is all about. There will be a presentation and a tour, including the Tool Room, Punch Presses, 4-Slides, Multi-slides and Wire Forming machinery.

For event details and to register, visit the JD Norman page at

Mold-Tech Midwest (Carol Stream)


For the past sixty years, Mold-Tech has played the dominant role in the development of texturization, first, by inventing the process, and then by successfully meeting the many unique texturing needs of tens of thousands of satisfied consumers. On October 7th in recognition of 2016 Manufacturing Day, Mold-Tech will hold a facility tour and presentation.

“Our target audience for this event is individuals who are enrolled in the Manufacturing/Industrial Technologies programs in the area,” says Jeremy Rodenbostel, Account Manager/Program Manager for the company. “Within that group there may be future Moldmakers, Machinists, or Engineers who may at some point in their career need to utilize Mold-Tech’s services. Also in this group there may be individuals who may find this a career path to pursue,” he explains.

At this time, Mold-Tech plans the celebration as a private event, although this may change. Keep your eyes on the Mold-Tech page at

OSG (Bensenville)


OSG invites local high school and college students to attend its Manufacturing Expo on Thursday, October 13. The event will include a networking session where students can talk to corporate and manufacturing personnel and learn more about the participating technical school programs. There will also be fun activities such a raffle, photo booth and Tooling Olympics!

For event details and to register, visit the OSG page at

Other Manufacturing-Related Events

Addison Industrial Job Expo

The Addison Industrial Job Expo, to be held on Saturday, September 17th at Addison Trail High School in Addison, will bring employers and potential employees together to continue to improve the Addison community and further develop the advantage of building a manufacturing business there.

This Expo is being held by the Addison Mayor’s Industrial Forum / Workforce Initiative group, comprised of COD’s Adult Ed, High School District 88, and Addison manufacturing companies. Job seekers from the area will attend the event, which will start with an hour-long Interview Readiness seminar and then demonstrate the variety of manufacturing job opportunities available in Addison.

For additional information about the Industrial Job Expo, be sure to download the event flyer.

Fifth Annual Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Expo

students at presentation

This year’s Expo will be on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016 at the Technical Education Center at College of DuPage. The event is designed to educate area high school students about careers in manufacturing, and the technical skills necessary to succeed in manufacturing.

The event is presented by:

  • Choose DuPage
  • College of DuPage
  • DuPage County Workforce Development Division (workNet DuPage)
  • DuPage Workforce Board
  • Glenbard Township High School District 87
  • Technology Center of DuPage

The Expo will start with a tour of the Technical Education Center, and a presentation about IoT (Internet of Things). Then, the students will go on tours of area manufacturing facilities.

students at demo

Last year, about 220 high school students attended the Expo, and nearly 60% of those students said that the Expo had persuaded them to consider a career in manufacturing!

High schools interested in sending a group of students to the Expo should register soon at the COD website – the deadline to register is on Manufacturing Day, October 7!

To register for the Expo, please visit the COD website.

Explore Careers in Manufacturing

These Manufacturing Day events are perfect opportunities for young people to explore hi-tech career options that are available in manufacturing. It is an opportunity to see firsthand some of the work that is being done right here in DuPage, and some of the technologies being used. Make your reservations now and enjoy this day of learning all about it!

And to all the manufacturers, schools and organizations that work hard to help sustain our DuPage County manufacturing sector, we say, “Thank you – we appreciate you!”

1 Information from the Choose DuPage website.