LAGRANGE, Ga. — Manufacturing is one of the most important sectors in Georgia’s economy.
The industry generated $64.9 billion in total output in 2021, up 36% from $47.5 billion in 2011, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. The industry employs 402,000 with average annual compensation $75,511.
Despite growth, students in middle and high school still see manufacturing as dull and dingy and reminiscent of old textile mills plants.
It’s why the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) and the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM) at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, partnered with several organizations in LaGrange to show students what modern manufacturing is all about.
The event, which also included the Development Authority of LaGrange, the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, and the West Georgia Technical College as partners, was tied to October 6 — National Manufacturing Day.
The goal was to showcase the wide range of opportunities in today’s advanced manufacturing, which still includes textiles and mills, but also pharmaceuticals and medicine, aerospace, food, and supplies, among other industries.
The more than 1,300 middle and high school-aged students who attended were able to meet with local industry partners such as Duracell and Mountville Mills, participate in hands-on demos of manufacturing technology, and learn about available training programs and educational opportunities.
They also participated in an interactive coding activity with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), as part of the Georgia AIM initiative. That program seeks to revolutionize Georgia the industrial economy of Georgia through the development and deployment of talent and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) for all manufacturing sectors.
GaMEP also featured Manufacturing x Digital‘s cyber box to show students how the right technology can prevent cyber attacks.
“Today’s technology is unbelievable,” said Scott Malone, president of the the Development Authority of LaGrange. “It’s really helping these kids, these young adults understand this is the future of what workforce is about. There’s lots of opportunity in manfacturing.”