PRINCETON — Allegion Americas, a leading provider of security products and solutions, recently hosted more than 30 students at its Manufacturing Day in Princeton — part of a nationwide effort to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
Supported by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the U.S., Manufacturing Day is an annual event when manufacturers open their doors to help educate people about the modern industry. Allegion held six Manufacturing Days throughout October, impacting more than 450 students in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio and Washington.
“The future of manufacturing has never been brighter as the introduction of new digital tools, the application of technology and the strong focus to enhance the customer experience has never been greater,” Chris Muhlenkamp, senior vice president of Allegion’s Global Operations and Integrated Supply Chain, said.
“The opportunities for prospective employees to engage in meaningful, challenging work that utilizes their vast array of skills and creates long-term career growth exists in many forms,” Muhlenkamp said.
For nearly 70 years, Allegion’s Illinois facility has produced LCN door closers. Students and teachers who attended Manufacturing Day there were given site tours to see firsthand how those products are made and how employees are empowered to innovate in manufacturing processes.
The students also engaged in assembly workshops that exposed them to advanced skills in lean manufacturing.
Muhlenkamp spoke to the students, commenting: “A career in manufacturing provides an experience full of excitement, enthusiasm and learning, while creating friendships and relationships that will last a lifetime. Individuals seeking to be empowered, to bring value each and every day, and to make a difference can find that challenge with a career in manufacturing here at Allegion.”
Allegion is not only working to attract new talent to the manufacturing industry, but also to reskill and upskill current talent. In fact, through its efforts to actively address what’s become known as the “skills gap,” Allegion is developing skilled trade apprenticeships and offering tuition reimbursement program opportunities.
After the Manufacturing Day event, the company celebrated a new Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine apprenticeship in Princeton that has an inaugural class of 17 current employees.
Allegion’s CNC apprentices have committed to up to 144 hours of online coursework and 6,000 to 8,000 hours of hands-on learning, dependent on their previous experiences. At the end of the program, apprentices will each earn a U.S. Department of Labor journey worker’s card — a special certification for specific skilled trades that they can carry with them throughout their careers.
Allegion employs more than 300 workers at its Princeton plant, and more than 2,500 in manufacturing across the U.S.