In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2017, ATAS International, Inc. opened their doors on October 5 to 60 area students and adults. This was the fifth year that ATAS participated in this event. Schools and organizations that were represented included:  Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Lehigh Valley Economic Development, and Parkland High School.

Students toured the ATAS facility to experience first-hand the processes in which metal components for the building envelope are manufactured. They also viewed a panel discussion consisting of several ATAS employees, who spoke about their positions in departments that include production, inside technical sales, technical services, clerical, information technology, and human resources. Students learned that every person within a manufacturing company must work together to produce a quality product and provide exemplary service to their customers. They were also able to visit inside Lehigh Carbon Community College Industrial Automation Program’s mobile manufacturing laboratory, which is parked in front of ATAS’ headquarters.

Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing during which manufacturers invite their communities — including students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians — to their facilities in a collective effort to educate visitors about manufacturing career opportunities and improve public perceptions of manufacturing. Studies show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, standard of living, and national security. Yet only 30 percent of those surveyed would encourage their children to go into manufacturing careers. This is a trend that must be reversed and which Manufacturing Day seeks to address by giving more people an opportunity to discover what modern manufacturing environments are really like.

“There is an increasing demand for highly skilled professionals in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology”, said Jim Bus, Executive Vice President of ATAS International. “The average age of a manufacturing employee is 56, and between now and 2020 there will be an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers who will need to be replaced.”