FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plans to reach more than 10,000 students during Manufacturing Day activities associated with the "Dream It. Do It" program sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Manufacturing Institute (MI).
Cooper will focus on communities where it has its tire plants — Texarkana, Ark., Tupelo, Miss., and Findlay. The company will participate in community-wide efforts as well as host its own Cooper Manufacturing Experience events.
The company's Dream Team, a group of 40 employees from across Cooper who work with students and others to educate and improve the image of careers in manufacturing, have planned the interactive, hands-on events.
"Manufacturing is technology driven, fast-paced and offers exciting career opportunities, but it can be challenging to attract employees," said John Bollman, Cooper's senior vice president and chief human resources officer. "Many students today are not focused on careers in manufacturing and, unfortunately, great jobs go unfilled."
He said the company has reached nearly 30,000 students in the three years it has been part of the Dream It. Do It. program.
"We hope, as they think about a career path in the future, they will consider jobs in manufacturing and some of the great opportunities available at Cooper."
MFG Day is Oct. 6, but the Cooper Manufacturing Experience will be offered throughout October. The events include:
• Findlay, Oct. 3-6: around 1,000 students from 11 area schools will visit Cooper's headquarters facilities to experience eight interactive stations, ranging from raw materials and tire design — including 3D modeling — to tire assembly, mold design and curing, as well as tire finishing and testing.
Safety, human resources and marketing will be a focus, as well as other functions, to give students an understanding of the dozens of roles involved in the design, production, distribution, and sales and marketing of Cooper tires. Students can participate in an interactive session with United Steelworkers Local 207L and Findlay-based companies Ohio Logistics,
Findlay Machine and Tool Inc. and GSW Manufacturing Inc. also will provide manufacturing demonstrations and hands-on activities.
• Texarkana, Oct. 11-13: approximately 2,000 students from six middle and junior high schools will be able to participate in the same interactive stations that will be featured at the Findlay event, with an expanded number of additional stations including engineering, IT, lab, and warehousing/distribution.