Local students check out facilty and learn more about manufacturing

Published: Oct. 4, 2018 at 12:57 PM EDT
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Local high school students got an up close look on Thursday at a live machine demonstration in Williamston.

Students from the Eaton Regional Educational Service Agency, along with Perry, Fowlerville, and Howell districts toured Bekum America facilities.

They were able to check out live demonstrations and tour a new learning center.

"We are excited to welcome students to Bekum America!" said Steve London, president and COO. "Young people are an essential part of our success and future workforce. Bekum intends to share the experience of modern manufacturing firsthand."

The learning center hosts Bekum's apprenticeship program.

The tours were part of Manufacturing Day, which is celebrated each year.

Companies hope that by exposing young people to manufacturing early on, that they may see the value of the career and take the next steps to become educated on the steps to a successful future in manufacturing.

The Bekum Apprenticeship Program works with various school districts including the Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton County RESA, career centers, and local area high schools to identify and recruit students from local school districts. Each apprentice must complete 8,000 hours of training and successfully complete approximately 60 credit hours at Lansing Community College, working towards an Associate Degree. Bekum established its Apprenticeship Program in 1995. In May of 2001, it graduated the two youngest, active journeymen in the United States. Approximately 50 percent of Bekum's manufacturing workforce has graduated from the Apprenticeship program, or is currently registered in the program.