Industry Career Guide Produced Locally to Meet Manufacturing Workforce Needs
16 Nov 2022
Over 250 manufacturers across more than 15 industries call Wyandotte County, Kansas, home. Since October was Manufacturing Month, it was the perfect time for Wyandotte Economic Development Council (WYEDC) to continue our commitment to workforce development by releasing the Industry-Driven Career Guide focusing on the sector. The guide was funded through the Wyandotte County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Jobs & Education Action Team led by the WYEDC in partnership with Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas Manufacturing Solutions, and Workforce Partnership.
The Career Guide was created for teachers, counselors, and administrators because everyone needs to work together to educate and train our students to fill the existing skilled and well-paying careers in our community. And the demand is only increasing.
The Wyandotte County manufacturing cluster addresses six career pathways: manufacturing production process development; production; maintenance, installation, and repair; logistics and inventory control; health, safety, and environmental assurance; and quality assurance. Many careers in manufacturing can be achieved with a high school diploma, a certification, or a 2-year degree. Some employers will even pay for education costs. The Career Guide provides the information students need to weigh career options that will make a difference in their community and allow them to reach their long-term financial goals.
To produce the Manufacturing Career Guide, WYEDC turned to local Wyandotte County manufacturer Herff Jones, a Varsity Achievement Company. Herff Jones is a trusted manufacturer of scholastic products, including yearbooks, graduation regalia, diplomas, graduation announcements, class and championship jewelry, and diploma frames. Herff Jones manufactures products at six sites in the U.S., including Edwardsville, Kansas.
“Herff Jones was founded in 1920 and has operated within the scholastic market ever since,” said Doug McWilliams, Vice President of Operations of Herff Jones. “We are proud providers of products that commemorate and celebrate students’ greatest achievements. We are passionate about our work and understand how important it is to deliver quality products on time. We work hard for a very good cause.”
“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to produce the WYEDC Career Guide,” said McWilliams. “It is rewarding to get to know the people behind print projects, and that is exactly what we are able to do when working on local projects. This not only opens the door to local networking but also promotes awareness of the good work taking place in Wyandotte County.”
Herff Jones works during Manufacturing Month and all year long to introduce students to possible careers. The Herff Jones yearbook plant hosts approximately 100 student tours each year. During a visit to the plant, students meet their Customer Service Adviser, work with a Creative Design Artist, and take a guided tour through the facility, where they meet employees who love producing yearbooks. “Students also have an opportunity to explore our plant library, where they will see popular and unique design trends in yearbooks from across the U.S. and Canada. It is a fun and educational experience,” said McWilliams.
“Celebrating achievement has always been the company’s blueprint, and the corporation grew focusing on recognition, motivation, education, and community involvement,” said McWilliams. “Today, Herff Jones has joined with Varsity Spirit and BSN Sports under the larger umbrella of Varsity Brands. Our experience in the industry and dedicated employees make us fully qualified to be a school’s official provider to preserve and build on the graduation tradition with customized products. Celebrating achievements, recognizing milestones, and motivating – it’s what we do. It’s why we exist. By your side.”
Get Your Own WYEDC Industry-Driven Career Guide!
Contact us today to receive your Career Guide! Our mission is to promote and strengthen Wyandotte County’s economy through innovative approaches to programs, partnerships, incentives, and leadership in industrial, residential, office, and retail markets. Let WYEDC help you and your business harness “The Power of the Dotte.”