DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As veteran employees retire, they take years of experience with them that is not being replaced at the same rate.  

Sinclair Community College hosts manufacturing day every year for high school students across the Miami Valley. While the day focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Sinclair staff says that the most important thing about the event is helping students start seriously preparing for life after graduation and connecting them with high paying career paths.

“Your future is not until you graduate,” said Jake Filard, senior engineering professor at Sinclair. “Your future is now.” 

Friday’s event hosted 370 students from eight local high schools, which doubled the turnout for 2022.   

Throughout the campus, students visited various stations dedicated to manufacturing, robotics, engineering, and chemistry.  Students from Mr. Roth’s classes at Piqua High School say the event opened their eyes to new career paths.   

“Definitely talking with Jake, because he was, you know, a little inspirational, talking about how you need get your grades up and stuff. And that’s about it,” said Jaylen Cathcart, freshman at Piqua High School.

“When we went to the chemistry thing, I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would,” said Lucy, a Piqua High School freshman. “So I’m thinking about something like that. Maybe in the future.”

Friday’s event is part of the volunteer flex factor program that provides students with career readiness opportunities and education.

Longtime Sinclair professor, Brian Cafarella, says that it is great to help guide students on their early paths to success. 

“So, it’s just great to work with students as they transition from high school to college, especially those who struggle with math or math, anxiety and what not,” Brian Cafarella, a longtime Sinclair math professor said. “But I help them understand that they can do math and kind of watch them succeed and really acclimate to college life.” 

Adam Rain, a Dayton-native and senior lab technician at Honda, says that after 15 years with Honda Manufacturing, he is sharing his industry experience with the next generation.  

“Now, this is my way of giving back to my community and also local businesses around,” said Rain. “Like everybody will benefit. Now from what we’re doing here at Sinclair.” 

Sinclair’s annual manufacturing day coincides with National Manufacturing Day that falls on the first Friday of October. The goal is to help bridge the gap between skilled manufacturing workers retiring from the profession and new workers who are just learning the trade.