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'It’s not dirty, it’s not dangerous': Local students learn about manufacturing careers

Appleton students try out a drill as part of a manufacturing career fair at Appleton West High School
Posted at 5:25 PM, Oct 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-04 18:25:00-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Around 25 local companies came to Appleton West High School Wednesday to show an estimated 750 students the possibilities a career in manufacturing can offer.

Appleton Technical Academy, Wisconsin Business World Program, and Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce teamed up to put on the event, which gave students a chance to meet with local manufacturers and try their hand at some basic manufacturing skills.

Wisconsin Business World Program Director Michell Grajkowski says manufacturing has gained a bad reputation over the years, but wants people to know it's really a field with great opportunities for growth and success.

“We see most of the hesitation from parents. Because parents like me who think, ‘my kid needs to go to college to be successful,’ well guess what, that’s not true," said Grajkowski, "There are so many great opportunity, innovative, high-paying, exciting careers… and it’s not dark, it’s not dirty, it’s not dangerous.”

Grajkowskis says attracting workers is one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers at the moment, and many positions are available.