Manufacturing Day, Shifting Students’ Attitudes
Pella Welcomes 200 Eighth Grade Students to Celebrate Modern Manufacturing
During the past week and a half, about 200 eighth-grade students from Pella Middle School and Pella Christian Grade School got to see, smell and experience the skills and complexity it takes to make windows and doors at Pella Corporation, fulfilling the goal of Manufacturing Day; to affect the public’s perception of manufacturing.
We wanted to bring students on-site to give them a first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in manufacturing. By touring the plant, they can feel the energy of jobs in manufacturing.
Webb joined fellow team members to coordinate two days, September 27 and October 5, where students toured the plant and participated in a construction activity in honor of today’s Manufacturing Day. This gave Pella’s team members a chance to shift the idea that manufacturing involved unskilled tasks that happen in dingy factories. Throughout the tour, the eighth-grade students learned about various processes, skills, and stations of the more than 1.8 million square foot plant, including:
- In Pella’s chop saw the area, where raw wood is cut to size and operators, must make more than 250,000 chopping decisions per day, and the support stackers walk almost 23 marathons a year.
- The window assembly line where no two same windows come down the line as it is set up to manage Pella’s made-to-order protocols.
- Through Pella’s Manufacturing Engineering Services area that designs, fabricates, installs, and services approximately two-thirds of the equipment in the plant.
Along the tour, students had to follow a planned process for picking up materials for their construction activity, a soda bottle birdhouse. They even got hands-on when they operated a die-cut machine to punch a hole for their birdhouse.
“We gave the students the opportunity to see the manufacturing process in person and then gave them a project to put their experience in action,” added Webb. “It’s important to educate students, particularly in this age, on what manufacturing is really about, and to help them understand it as a meaningful, and favorable, career.”
This is Pella Corporation’s first year including students in Manufacturing Day, an annual celebration of modern manufacturing, but Kurtis and other production team members hope to expand the program in the future.
Pella Corporation’ team members actively participate in educating students about engineering, manufacturing and more through educational programs like internships, classroom visits and onsite demonstrations across 12 manufacturing locations within the United States. Plus, Pella hosts a facility at Iowa State University Research Park as a site for senior design projects, student recruitment, and collaboration between students and Pella employees.
Pella Corporation doesn’t just create windows and doors, we innovate with purpose, design with passion, build with integrity, and deliver with pride. From testing beyond industry requirements to continuous innovation, Pella goes beyond what meets the eye. Pella’s goal is to perfect every detail and make beautifully designed windows and doors. The company is headquartered in Pella, Iowa and employs more than 6,000 people with 13 manufacturing locations and more than 200 showrooms across the country.