In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2018, Wall Colmonoy Aerobraze OKC opened its doors on Friday, October 12, 2018 to students from local Career Techs and high schools as part of an effort to inspire the next generation of opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide.
Activities at Aerobraze OKC included tours of the facility, equipment and product manufacturing demonstrations of machining, welding, brazing and fabrication. The day also included a hands-on activity intended to showcase Aerobraze’s expertise in sheet metal fabrication. Blueprints and work instructions were provided for the students to assemble an item made from cut, bent, milled and drilled sheet metal fabricated parts. The goal was to have each student leave with a gift bag that contained an F-15 fighter jet made from metal pieces cut by water jet and slip fitted together. WCC Aerobraze OKC developed and manufactures heat exchangers for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 fighter jets.
“With the ever increasing skills gap for manufacturing jobs, we want to get young people excited and educate them about manufacturing as a career choice,” Mark Saffell, pperations manager, explains. “The average age of workers in the manufacturing sector, as of 2017 Oklahoma state data, is 45 years of age. Only 2% employed in manufacturing are under age 20, and 7% under the age of 24. In the upcoming decade, this will leave a huge skills shortage gap. We hope opening up our doors to the local Oklahoma City community will encourage the younger generation into manufacturing careers.”