Why the Manufacturing Industry Needs the Younger Generation to Succeed

Brad Patterson guide Auburn high school students through the Advanced Machine & Engineering shop for Manufacturing Day.

By: Meaghan Ziemba, Content Marketing Manager, AME

In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce held tours for local Rockford, Illinois high schools, including:

  • Byron

  • Hononegah

  • Rockford Guilford

  • Rockford East I

  • Rockford East II

  • Rockford Jefferson

  • Rockford Roosevelt









Each school was assigned a tour with local manufacturers included:


Over 400 students and chaperone participated in the tour day.


Manufacturing: A Wonderful Path to Take

Hennig, Inc. VP of Global Sales, Noah Goellner, talks about his personal experiences during the panel discussion at Giovanni’s.Students met at Giovanni’s for a panel discussion. The panel was moderated by WTVO’s Eric Wilson and featured, Noah Goellner, VP of Global Business Operations from Hennig, Inc.; Tasha Mitchell-Wendorf, Project Manager from Ingersoll Cutting Tools; and Rebecca Whelan, Quality Inspector from Rockford Toolcraft.

Mayor Tom McNamara kicked of the panel by welcoming the students and sharing some Rockford manufacturing success stories. “We do tremendous things because of manufacturing and it is certainly a wonderful path to take.”

He also commented on the willingness of Rockfordians to help out other Rockfordians, and every company that participated in the tour is passionate to help the younger generations become successful: “They want you to succeed and we need you to succeed.”

The Manufacturing Community

During the panel discussion, each panelist provided an overview of their career, how they became interested in manufacturing, and why they love what they do. All of them agreed that manufacturing is different from what it was 10 years ago and the manufacturing community is a great community to be a part of.

Their advice for students considering manufacturing as a career path:

  • “Keep going. Find that niche.” - Rebecca Whelan, Rockford Toolcraft

  • “Work hard, be dedicated, and continue your education to remain competitive.” Tasha Mitchell-Wendorf

  • “Be proactive up front and tie in your schooling with what you’re working on.” Noah Goellner, Advanced Machine & Engineering


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