ARCADIA, Wis. — Ashley Furniture Inds. is again celebrating National Manufacturing Month this month, this year with an educational virtual tour for 2,000 middle school students.
The students — from Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — will tour Ashley’s advanced-manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin and see a variety of career opportunities available within the company from operating a machine to designing furniture.
Students will also learn about the importance of manufacturing and the economic benefits of the industry.
Manufacturing month kicks off annually with National Manufacturing Day, originated by the National Assn. of Manufacturers, on the first Friday of October.
“We are passionate about inspiring future creators by exposing them to the incredible career pathways that modern manufacturing offers,” said Todd Wanek, Ashley president and CEO. “Manufacturing is a rapidly advancing industry, and it needs our help to ensure the future jobs are not left unfilled.”
Participating schools in Mississippi include North Pontotoc Middle School and Ripley Middle School; in North Carolina, Davie County middle schools; and in Wisconsin, Arcadia, Arcadia Holy Family, Blair-Taylor, Cochrane-Fountain City, Eleva-Strum, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Independence, Independence SSPP, and Whitehall.
In Pennsylvania, Schuylkill Valley Middle School will partner with Ashley for its first year of Manufacturing Day tours.
Ashley has developed a number of partnerships with K-12 as well as post-secondary schools over the past five years. Combined efforts have included investing in STEM-based learning opportunities, scholarships, providing students with exposure to technical trades and career opportunities, instructor training and robotics programs.