TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Leadership at Troy’s Pella plant is making an effort to promote the importance of manufacturing in the Miami Valley to the next generation of leaders.

The windows and door manufacturing company hosted area high school students Thursday to teach them about the industry and see up-close what manufacturing jobs entail.

“They’re the ones that when we retire, are going to be taking over our positions, moving our company to the next level,” said Patty Kendall, human resources manager at the plant. So it’s extremely important for us to teach them our jobs, bring them in and have them learn from the ground up.”

While one group of seniors toured the plant, others learned about and attempted part of the construction process. During the visit, Kendall explained some of the benefits of modern manufacturing jobs, including stability, cleanliness and pay, which at Pella, starts at more than $17 an hour. 

“[That’s] as an operator,” she said. “Within 90 days you get bumped up to $18 an hour and in six months, you have the opportunity to move up to $18.50 an hour.”

But even with good pay and job security, after opening the plant in the middle of the pandemic, she said the company has still had a difficult time filling positions. 

“It has been a bit challenging because with the pandemic things change. People have to adapt. Not everybody has the same views. And we want to want to do what’s right, not only for our employees, but for everybody.“

As the company prepares to fill around 200 positions over the next year, Kendall said she hopes to see the next generation take on manufacturing and leadership roles. 

To learn more about open positions, click here