Manufactuing and Engineering Technology Expo to debunk the myth of manufacturing jobs

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of manufacturing jobs? Some of you probably imagine a dirty shop floor and oily, noisy machines. Sadly, this is what most of the people think of manufacturing. However, the College of DuPage (COD) in Glen Ellyn, Illinois has been trying to debunk this myth about manufacturing by showing interested students what manufacturing really is. As part of this effort, COD hosted their 4th annual Manufacturing and Engineering Technology Expo last week at their Technical Education Center (TEC).

Over 200 students from 9 local high schools visited the expo and interacted with 15 vendors who came prepared to provide information about their businesses and discuss potential career paths. The students also received a tour of the beautiful machine shop at the TEC.

As we continue to embrace the mission behind MfgDay which is to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, OSG volunteered to participate in the COD expo as a vendor and talked to the students about our company, available career paths and internship opportunities. OSG district sales manager, Matt Dahlberg, also shared his experiences from his career. Matt graduated from Technology Center of DuPage and started in manufacturing as an apprentice at a local die mold company. Over the past 13 years, Matt progressed in his career to CNC machinist, CNC machine programmer, then CAD/CAM designer and most recently to OSG district manager. In his present position, Matt applies his years of manufacturing shop floor experience to help his customers cost effectively and efficiently manufacture their parts with OSG drills, taps, end mills, indexable cutting tools and thread forming die products.


Nowadays, most high schools encourage and prepare students to attend 4-year-colleges after graduation. Fenton High School in Bensenville, Illinois also focuses on sending students to 4-year-colleges, but the technical education teacher, Ben Nelson, decided to take his students to this year’s expo. “I want to make my students realize the variety of career paths available to them,” said Nelson. “Matt’s career path is eye opening for kids because average kids do not know such a career path is actually possible.”

On the other hand, the technology and engineering program at Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois focuses more on developing students’ practical skills. Andy Rupnick, technology and engineering teacher at Lake Park High School said, “We are pushing career readiness.” The school has just opened a new innovation center which houses 10 brand new manufacturing machines. The new facility is used to accommodate 5 sections of classes in manufacturing and 4 sections of classes in engineering. Rupnick said he has a large number of students who are interested in a manufacturing career.

Associate Professor of Manufacturing Technology at COD, Jim Filipek, taught a class during the expo that shared with students the advantages and disadvantages of a manufacturing career. He said it is important for us to be honest with the students and to tell them how manufacturing jobs really are.

“A manufacturing career is not glamorous, and you do not dress up to go to work,” said Filipek, “but it gives you job security with a thick wallet which replaces being glamorous.”

OSG wants to help change the stereotype of manufacturing as a dirty shop floor environment and to share the rewarding job opportunities available to today’s students through our involvement in the community and with these technical school programs. In order to be successful, we understand that manufacturers share the responsibility with educators to inspire students to consider and pursue manufacturing careers. In the long run, this is essential to the future of American manufacturing.  



Tools to Shape the Future








Actions speak louder than words, and we at OSG are using our new tagline – “Shaping Your Dreams” – to inspire outreach. In an ongoing effort to get more young people interested and prepared for careers in manufacturing technology, we donated over $85,000 in new tooling to Chicago-area colleges.


Mike Grzybowski, Regional Manager for OSG, has delivered tools to College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Joliet Junior College and the College of Lake County in Grayslake. Students involved in these manufacturing programs will now have access to training with industry-leading tools which will better prepare them for going into the field.



Grzybowski most recently visited the College of Lake County where instructor Jeff Hines received the donation. He was extremely appreciative of the tooling as well as the decimal charts, safety glasses and catalogs that OSG additionally provided. In reviewing the technical information within the OSG catalogs, Hines realized the valuable information it contains and will look to it for teaching lessons in the future.


Dave Szumowski, Mechanical Production Technology Instructor at Joliet Junior College, also received a visit from OSG. Szumowski truly appreciated the thought and generosity of OSG to think of Joliet Junior College and donate such a large amount of tooling for their program. He recognizes the importance of fostering an ongoing relationship with OSG moving forward, including hosting OSG guest speakers and more.



When visiting College of DuPage, Grzybowski delivered the cutting tools and other training aids to Jim Filipek, Coordinator of Manufacturing Technology. Having worked in manufacturing and machining for years before retiring and becoming a teacher, Filipek knows the importance of being trained with quality tools from the start.


“This action by OSG allows us to train the workforce of tomorrow with the tooling of today!” Filipek was grateful for the donation and believes the addition of OSG’s tooling is going to help their program tremendously.


Reaching out to these local colleges is one way that we can improve the future of students looking to go into the manufacturing industry. By providing the quality tools they need to learn the trade, we are certain to get engineers and machinists who are better prepared and more driven in the field for years to come.