After more than a year of planning and preparations, PKED, along with the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, The Kawartha Manufacturers Association, and the Workforce Development Board, partnered with local advanced manufacturers AVIT, Flying Colours, and Siemens to give a tour to 40 educators from the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board.
The purpose of the tour was to bring awareness to educators and the public — specifically parents and students locally — on the opportunities available to students and new grads within advanced manufacturing in the region.
The hope would be that, by bringing these co-op teachers, tech teachers, and guidance counsellors right into these cutting-edge facilities, it would demystify the stereotypes that surround the advanced manufacturing industry and careers available to young workers.
“It’s important for educators to interact with industry first-hand, to see the technical skills required in today’s manufacturing sector,” says Rhonda Keenan, President and CEO of PKED.
“Talent is the number one concern for any business, especially in the manufacturing sector. We’re trying to ensure our local youth have an advantage for a strong career in manufacturing.”
The day started with a tour of the AVIT facility (formerly known as Steelworks Design). From there, the tour received a driving tour of Major Bennett Industrial Park where PKED and the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce provided an overview of the other manufacturing facilities that operate in Major Bennett Industrial Park.
Late morning, the tour arrived at the Peterborough Airport and explored Flying Colours. After Flying Colours, they received a driving tour of the Neal Drive Industrial Park and the Technology Drive Business Park.
The tour came to Siemens for lunch and spent the rest of the day touring, breaking out into small groups and facilitated discussions at the international instrumental processing plant.
“There is a large growth potential for this sector and in this region,” Rhonda said of the tour. “By introducing our educators to these opportunities and showcasing the value that STEM skills provide, we’re confident this message will be passed along to local youth and will equip them to become ready for the future.”