Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Business

October 25, 2013

BHS students tour casket plant

Batesville High School students taking part in the Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics (AM&L) program received a first-hand view of life after graduation Oct. 8. In conjunction with the National Manufacturing Day, Batesville Casket Co. manufacturing director John Harmeyer Jr. provided students with an in-depth tour of the Hillenbrand Inc., Batesville, Doll Plant, said senior communications associate Tyler Stock.

According to Stock, “All across the United States manufacturing jobs continue to go unfilled and unemployment rates still hover around 8 percent. Instead of waiting around for a solution, associates at Hillenbrand partnered with local businesses, Batesville High School and Ivy Tech Community College to address the skills gap issue plaguing our country. The result: an AM&L curriculum that prepares students for careers after school.” Students spend their day between BHS, Ivy Tech and local manufacturing businesses.

Craig Hughes, AM&L teacher, said, “By their high school graduation, students have earned college credit, have hands-on experience and probably have a job lined up. Not every student needs to go to a four-year college. These students are prepared for highly-skilled and highly-paid jobs that our country needs to prosper.”

Harmeyer maintained, “This program is a model the rest of the country should use. We’re already seeing the success at the Doll Plant. Students have learned the skills needed for employment and we’re getting quality employees. It is a win for everyone.”

National Manufacturing Day was created by the National Association of Manufacturers to correct public perception, which doesn’t do manufacturing justice. Manufacturing environments, which include highly-trained, well-paid employees who work on state-of-the-art equipment, are commonly thought of as antiquated factories designed for low-skilled workers. The national day addresses this misperception by giving all manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, exactly what manufacturing is – and what it isn’t.

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