IMTS 2010: Show opens with focus on workforce development

NIMS Student Summit expected to draw 10,000 attendees during IMTS show



IMTS 2010 began Monday morning with a look to the future.

The 2010 International Manufacturing Technology Show came to Chicago for its biannual event and began with Association for Manufacturing Technology president Douglas Woods helping to open the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Student Center at the show. More than 10,000 students are expected to attend over the week-long event at McCormick Place, and Monday’s ribbon cutting for the NIMS Student Center also opened the Student Summit at IMTS. The Summit is designed to bring students, industry leaders and manufacturers together to discuss the looming skills gap in manufacturing.

Woods made it clear that IMTS would embrace the opportunity to work with current students. “This is mission critical to what we at IMTS do,” Woods said. In speaking to students from Chicago’s Austin Polytechnical Academy on hand for the ribbon-cutting, he said, “There are a lot of exhibitors here this year that are designated as ‘student-friendly.’ My job is to make sure that all of our exhibitors are students-friendly. Your job is to go out and learn everything you can.”

Dan Swinney, executive director of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council that helped form Austin Polytechnical five years ago to give young people a career path of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the city, said he perception of manufacturing needs to change to help fill the expected 3 million job shortfall in manufacturing by 2012. “Work in modern manufacturing is truly transforming work,” Swinney said. “The opportunities are there. We are the link between the students and these unfilled jobs.”

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