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 The first week of October brought a wave of excitement and inspiration to students in the Greater Lafayette region as Manufacturing Week 2023 took center stage.  

Manufacturing Week is designed to educate the next-generation workforce about the vast career opportunities available to them right here in Greater Lafayette. 

The fun-filled week was a collaborative effort, powered by Greater Lafayette Commerce and a multitude of regional manufacturers who helped students explore the diverse and high-tech world of advanced manufacturing and logistics.  

Manufacturing Week began as Manufacturing Day in 2014. Since then, over 16,500 students have participated in what is now a week-long program.  

High school students embark on eye-opening tours 

544 high school students had the unique opportunity to step into the inner workings of some of Greater Lafayette's most prominent manufacturing facilities, including Subaru, Kirby Risk Service Center, Oscar Winski, Wabash, Copper Moon Roastery, Caterpillar, Cook BioTech, Harrison Steel and the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University. 

As these students walked the factory floors and saw state-of-the-art machinery in action, they got a firsthand look at the world of advanced manufacturing and logistics.  

Middle school students explore careers 

For the 1,315 middle school students who participated in career exploration activities, Manufacturing Week was a gateway to discovering potential career paths. At the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, they engaged with regional manufacturers, including Primient, Saab, Ivy Tech Community College, Cook BioTech, Kirby Risk Precision Machining, Subaru, Wabash, Tipmont, Purdue Birck Nano Technology Center, Evonik, Terra Drive Systems, GE Aviation and Kirby Risk Service Center. 

Through hands-on activities and meaningful interactions, these students learned about the breadth of careers in manufacturing and logistics, from engineering and design to quality control and logistics management.  

Elementary school students dive into manufacturing awareness 

Even the youngest students in the Greater Lafayette region got a taste of the excitement during Manufacturing Week. A total of 821 elementary school students engaged in manufacturing awareness activities at the Fairgrounds with regional manufacturers, introducing them to the world of manufacturing in an accessible and fun way. Participating manufacturers included Caterpillar, Subaru, Wabash, Rea Magnet Wire, Purdue Birck Nano Technology and Ivy Tech Community College. 

By making learning engaging and accessible, these activities planted the seeds of curiosity and enthusiasm for manufacturing and logistics at an early age. 

Here’s a breakdown of who did what 

Manufacturing Week extended its reach to a multitude of schools across the Greater Lafayette region. High school students from sPeru Comm Schools, Lafayette School Corporation, Carroll Consolidated, Faith Christian School, Tri-County Jr./Sr. High School, Oakland Academy, Lafayette Catholic Schools, Fountain Central, Attica, Delphi Community, McCutcheon and North White toured manufacturing facilities. 

Middle school students from Saint Boniface, Carroll Jr High School, Sunnyside (6th grade), Tecumseh (entire 7th grade), Carroll Elementary School (6th grade), The Academy at LCSC, Benton Central Jr.-Sr. High School (entire 8th grade) and Carroll Jr. High School (entire 7th grade) participated in career exploration activities. 

Elementary school students from various schools, including Murdock, Edgelea, Miami, Sunnyside, Dayton, St. Boniface, New Market, Mintonye, Ladoga and Walnut Elementary, engaged in manufacturing awareness activities. This broad participation reflects the commitment of Greater Lafayette Commerce to make Manufacturing Week as inclusive and educational as possible. 

We do Manufacturing Month too 

In addition to Manufacturing Week, Greater Lafayette Commerce in October powers Manufacturing Month – a virtual adventure with interactive learning features, including videos, drag-and-drop activities and practice quizzes. 

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