When Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., USA opens the doors to its facilities in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Manufacturing Day, the public will get a glimpse into the advanced manufacturing that powers the production line. “Seeing a manufacturing plant in action speaks very loudly for the level of technology that’s being used,” Kawasaki Vice President and Plant Manager Mike Boyle said. The Lincoln facilities alone are responsible for manufacturing all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft, utility vehicles and subway rail cars, and they use some of the most cutting-edge equipment to do so.
But this isn’t the first time that Kawasaki has been a force for manufacturing in the community. Through Project Shine, Kawasaki brings college instructors into its facilities and helps them develop lesson plans for their classes. These lessons focus on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills necessary to educate the next generation of manufacturers. Without STEM education, the skills gap threatens to upend the extraordinary growth of the U.S. manufacturing industry. Kawasaki also offers internships that provide hands-on training in a field that offers long-term, high-paying careers.
For Kawasaki, Manufacturing Day will resonate long after the events wrap up. Once high school and college students understand all they can achieve from a future in manufacturing, there is no settling for anything else. “We’re confident that it won’t be the last time we see them at Kawasaki,” Boyle said.
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