Students at trade shows, IMTS 2002

From: Terry T. Wohlers (
Date: Fri Sep 20 2002 - 01:34:03 EEST

Hello everyone,

The following was sent to me privately. Permission was given to share it
with you.

Best regards,


Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.
OakRidge Business Park
1511 River Oak Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado 80525 USA
Fax 970-225-2027


Dear Mr. Wohlers,

I accompanied several Chicago Job Corp students at IMTS last week. This was
my second student summit. In 2000 I brought my son, then a 6th grader. He
learned a lot and was impressed with manufacturing technology. The show was
a great way to teach him about processes. At that time I was pleasantly
surprised that junior high students were allowed to attend. Since then I
have learned that if students are not introduced to manufacturing in a
positive way before high school, we have little chance of ever recruiting
them for the trades. I suspect that this may be true for manufacturing
engineers as well.

This year I sponsored a tour of manufacturing students and their instructor
from the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center. The student summit has a
headquarters with a lounge that serves as a staging area as well as
providing refreshments. This is a huge help to group leaders. The student
summit headquarters also had booths by the Natl. Inst. of Metalworking
Standards, the Tooling and Manufacturing Association, the ASME, the
Precision Metalforming Association, and others promoting careers in

My group was treated well by all vendors and the students responded well.
The Job Corps instructor, Mr. Burnis Thomas, got a lot of mileage out of
this field trip which he used to highlight processes, tooling, technology
and careers. This group stayed for 5 hours. Box lunches were purchased
through McCormick place and delivered to the Student Summit lounge.

Note that they also allow students to attend the design show held at
McCormick Place every March (National Manufacturing Week), but it's not
like this. If I recall correctly, it is usually just the last day that is
open to students and the reception is nowhere near as warm.

The IMTS is providing a great service by opening up their show to students.

Ray Prendergast
Instructor, Oakton Community College Business Institute
Consultant, Learntec and Associates

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