ANNA – The success of Manufacturing Day at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant helped inspire Honda facilities in East Liberty and Marysville to open their doors to high school students as well.
This week marks the third annual Manufacturing Day event at the Anna Engine Plant, during which more than 800 high school students participate in interactive tours of the facility and learn about careers at Honda.
“Everybody in the plant looks forward to doing it,” Rick Riggle, the manger of the Anna Engine Plant, said. “We definitely like bringing in the kids and kind of showing off a little bit of what we do and educating them on what Anna is about. A lot of them know a bit and pieces but showing them firsthand is always fun.”
Students from Allen East, Anna, Apollo Career Center, Botkins, Coldwater, Fairlawn, Fort Loramie, Graham, Houston, Jackson Center, Lima Central Catholic, Lima Shawnee, Marion Local, Minster, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Piqua, Russia, Sidney, St. Henry, Tri Star Career Compact, Upper Valley Career Center and Wapakoneta are visiting the Anna Engine Plant on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sixty-four of the plant’s approximately 3,200 employees are involved in showing the students around, telling them about the plant’s operations and letting them try some of the tasks done in Anna.
“I actually had some production associates talking to me today saying they’re excited to have that many people coming in,” Riggle said. “Obviously they know some of these kids or they’re related to them so there’s a little bit of a sense of pride, I think, having those kids come in and seeing what we do every day.”
Following the lead of the Anna Engine Plant, Honda’s East Liberty Plant and Technical Development Center on Thursday and the Marysville Auto Plant and Technical Development Center on Friday will welcome approximately 100 students each for Manufacturing Day events.
“I think East Liberty and Marysville saw an opportunity to kind of engage their local schools and communities,” Riggle said.
Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity for Honda to showcase itself to students and recruit them for future careers, Riggle said. The facility has job opportunities for individuals of varying education levels, including recent high school graduates and students who pursue additional education in college.
“It’s a bit of a recruitment activity for us in the sense that we give the kids an idea of employment opportunities and what Honda has to offer as they’re thinking about what their future holds whether that’s vocational schools, two-year colleges, four-year universities or even production opportunities,” Riggle said.
Having students enter the manufacturing facility and see it for themselves helps Honda dispel preconceived notions about what a factory is, Riggle said, and see the wide range of opportunities.
“It really kind of puts a face on new manufacturing,” he said. “They probably have heard from grandparents or parents what manufacturing is, but that’s changed dramatically over the years, and we like to give them a firsthand look at that.”
Tony Metzler, an intervention specialist at Anna Local Schools, said the Manufacturing Day was a great opportunity for students to see what’s available to them locally.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for them to see some jobs that are out there, see this plant especially because we’re local,” he said. “It’s a place they could come work in the future … on the engineering side if they want to go to college and come back and do it or if they just want to get a job right out of high school it’s a great opportunity for them.”
The Anna Engine Plant, which has been in operation for 34 years, has approximately 62 acres under roof.
Each year it produces more than 1 million four-cylinder, V-6 and turbo engines for Honda auto plants throughout North America. It also produces parts for other Honda facilities, including high-precision pulleys for continuously variable transmissions used in the Honda Accord and CR-V.
“There’s a high technical aspect to manufacturing today that I don’t think people understand unless they see it firsthand or they’re intimately involved with it already,” Riggle said.
Along with the Manufacturing Day event, Honda works with institutions like Edison State Community College, Sinclair Community College and the University of Northwestern Ohio to provide co-ops for students that can develop into full-time careers. It also works with universities to provide co-ops and internships for students.
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