Careers Without Boundaries: Meyer Tool Invited to Participate in Non-Traditional Career Panel
March 29, 2012
What is a non-traditional career? It’s a career in which 25 percent or less of a certain gender is represented; for instance, men in nursing and women in automotive technology. Being a woman involved in the manufacturing world, Meyer Tool & Mfg., Inc. president, Eileen Cunningham, certainly fits the bill. As such, Eileen was invited to participate in the Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) Non-Traditional Career Panel which took place on February 24, 2012.
The Non-Traditional Career Panel included four panelists in non-traditional careers for their gender, responding to questions regarding their career choice and the challenges presented by it. In addition to Eileen, the four panelists included a male nurse, a female civil engineer and a male massage therapist. The event was designed as an attempt to broaden the career spectrum for those in the midst of making career choices. The audience was a mix of college and junior high students and the panelists took turns sharing their experiences with the group.
For Eileen, it was a great opportunity to pursue the Meyer Tool mission of changing the perspective of manufacturing as a career choice. Manufacturing is not often the first industry that comes to mind when today’s youth are contemplating what to do with the rest of their lives. Parents overwhelmingly want their children to go to college, often to pursue a business related or service occupation. Unfortunately, manufacturing has had a lot of bad press over the years. Many training facilities have been closed due to budget shortfalls, especially in the high schools where they used to be readily available to introduce students to manufacturing as a potential career path.
While the current perception of manufacturing as a career may not be flattering, the reality is resoundingly positive. High tech manufacturing facilities are what remain in the United States today. Re-shoring efforts (efforts to bring manufacturing back to the States) are being initiated due to quality and delivery issues overseas. Manufacturing has led America out of every depression or recession since the 1930’s. And, the fact remains that there are just not enough skilled workers available to meet demand; resulting in career stability and rising wages, an unusual find in this economic time. Manufacturing definitely offers a life-long career path with above average wages in a cutting edge world to those who are mechanically inclined and enjoy seeing the physical fruit of their labor. Colleges are enhancing programs at a rapid pace to meet the needs of this industry. And through tuition reimbursement programs such as that offered by Meyer Tool, students can get their degree while gaining on-the-job experience. In a few short years, they are ready to face the world – with no college debt incurred! These students have a leg up on the competition, too, because they have practical experience, not just classroom theory with little or no experience in applying lessons to real world situations.
For more information on non-traditional careers, contact Laura Kockler, MVCC Job Resource Specialist at (708) 974-5431 or visit their website.
Following are some of the questions and answers offered by Eileen:
Q&A Panel: Eileen Cunningham, President of Meyer Tool; Mohamad Dabboush, Certified Nursing Assistant; Mary Ellen Mack, Local Agency Construction Supervisor; Bill Underwood, Massage Therapist; Lauren Lockler (Podium)