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Malibu and Lund hold Manufacturing Day events

Debbie Kent, vice president of human resources for Malibu Boats, talks to students who visited the company’s Tennessee plant for a Manufacturing Day event.

Debbie Kent, vice president of human resources for Malibu Boats, talks to students who visited the company’s Tennessee plant for a Manufacturing Day event.

Brunswick-owned Lund Boats hosted events in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day and is also using the occasion to continue its outreach to women.

The company is taking “a fresh approach on what the marine industry is doing to attract candidates and spotlight manufacturing,” Brunswick Corp. spokesman Dan Kubera told Trade Only Today.

“But what I found interesting, if you will, is that beyond targeting students to make them aware of opportunities in manufacturing, Lynda Everson [from] Lund HR, also is reaching out throughout the year not only to students, but also to women in the community, to let them know that they, too, are welcome, Kubera said.

Lund Boats produced this video designed to attract women to manufacturing.

“When I first came here I didn’t know about power tools, but I was very willing to learn and they were very patient with me,” Michelle Gallmeier, who leads the finishing department, said in the video. Both of her daughters also work at the plant.

“In almost seven years I’ve worked my way up from line worker to be a trainer, and now I’m a lead,” Gallmeier said. “And there are many more opportunities for growth here.”

Women in manufacturing is a promising area, Kubera said, pointing to a STEP Ahead initiative designed to showcase the impact of women in manufacturing to help attract and retain the talent the industry needs to succeed.

Lund also recently had a group from Alexandria (Minn.) Technical and Community College that are part of the school’s marine and small engine curriculum, Kubera said.

Malibu Boats participated in the Loudon County Economic Development Agency’s first Manufacturing Day event, hosting students from Lenoir City and Loudon high schools.

Malibu said it was the sole Tennessee boatbuilder to participate in an official Manufacturing Day 2017 event.

Each year on the first Friday in October, Manufacturing Day serves as a celebration of modern industry, with the goal of inspiring future generations of manufacturers. This year Manufacturing Day featured 2,746 official events around the United States during the first week of October, including 76 in Tennessee.

“We feel that it’s extremely important to partner with our local schools to introduce students, parents and teachers to the exciting manufacturing opportunities we offer,” Debbie Kent, vice president of human resources for Malibu Boats, said in a statement. “At some point, we seem to have stopped talking about the manufacturing industry in schools, so our goal in participating in events like this is to reinvigorate the conversation.”

Malibu hosted more than 60 students on Manufacturing Day, providing a tour of its global headquarters and an introduction to its boatbuilding process. The event was the first in a series of monthly introductory programs for area students.

Students were introduced to the boatbuilding process during their visit to Malibu Boats.

Students were introduced to the boatbuilding process during their visit to Malibu Boats.

“Whenever we host teachers at our facility and demonstrate the available opportunities for both high school and college graduates, they leave here amazed,” said Kent. “We are always looking for good candidates, and for those possibly not interested in post-secondary education we have training in place to teach employees specialized skills that can help them turn boatbuilding into a career.”

Malibu and Lund were just two of several marine manufacturers that participated in Manufacturing Day, joining companies including Yamaha Marine, Sea Ray and Correct Craft, as Trade Only reported Monday.

All of the companies are members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which has long supported the event and urged marine manufacturers to participate.

“Nearly 2,500 manufacturers from around the U.S. are already registered,” said the NMMA in its newsletter Currents on Oct. 3. “Don't let other industries take all the spotlight! Our industry needs you to help bring attention to the great careers and career paths in marine manufacturing and the many positive economic impacts of recreational boating on the local community.”

NMMA also helps get members of Congress to attend Manufacturing Day events to help educate local officials about the importance of marine manufacturing.



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