#Poweredbyjobs: Think mechatronics for Careers in Manufacturing Month

As we celebrate careers in manufacturing month, our Powered by Jobs post this week comes from Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director at the Center for Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing in Everett.

She addresses all of the great events happening around Washington this month in manufacturing, the reasons people should look into the industry as a career choice, and what the future has in store for the industry.

Here’s Mary Kaye:

Hello. We are one of 10 centers of excellence here in Washington state that are funded by our State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. We are so excited to be celebrating careers in manufacturing this month!

A lot is going on. Manufacturing day was Oct. 4 and 7. Many of our community colleges are offering tours to young high school students, and even middle school students, so they can see all the opportunities in advanced manufacturing, especially here in Washington state: home of Boeing. We have a lot of great jobs in aerospace.

If you’d like to visit our website, coewa.com, you’ll see lots of examples and testimonials from successful students who have gone through our programs.

Of the 34 community technical colleges, about 26 offer some type of aerospace, aviation or advanced manufacturing that supports careers or training in Washington. Right now, you’ll see that we’re focusing on mechatronics [a field of engineering that includes mechanical and computer engineering, robotics, electronics, telecommunications and more]. We’ve met with Amazon, Boeing, food and fruit processing companies, and logistics. You can start a great career if you take a two-year mechatronic program at one of the 12 community colleges currently offering it.

Many careers in mechatronics are available in aerospace. If you were to tour the Boeing triple seven x-wing box facility just down the street from us, you’ll recognize that Boeing is now using an automated system — huge machines that need industrial machine maintenance. This is what we’re preparing students for. If you go through our training programs and complete a degree in mechatronics, you will be highly sought after.

The industry is paying starting wages anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000, depending on experience. Many companies are offering paid internships and looking for individuals with this type of training.

Also, we have a pilot shortage. We’re trying to entice young people to become pilots. We also need maintenance repair people — MROs: maintenance repair operations. We’re located at Everett Community College. Great opportunities!

I can’t stress how important it is for us to start enticing young people into careers in automated systems, avionics and robotics. This is the wave of the future. In fact, you’ve probably heard it referred to as Industry 4.0. Our manufacturing companies are becoming smarter and more automated by using robotics. We need young people to maintain those automated machines and think of careers in advanced manufacturing.

As we continue to celebrate careers in manufacturing, I would encourage you to visit WAManufacturingCareers.com.

As partners in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job. We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.

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