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Sinclair College and FastLane Host Manufacturing Day to Expose High School Students to Exciting Careers

Sinclair Community College and FastLane hosted Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2023, with more than 300 high school students participating in hands-on activities to spark interest in exciting, rewarding careers in manufacturing.


Students and staff from eight high schools in Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, and Warren Counties visited Sinclair’s Dayton campus to tour labs, meet with manufacturing industry representatives and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computer science/information technology faculty, and learn about internship and employment opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

“Sinclair Community College is proud to play a significant role in supporting Manufacturing Day by offering a series of hands-on activities, tours, and interactive workshops designed to showcase the diverse and lucrative career opportunities within the manufacturing industry,” said Karl Hess, Dean – Sinclair Community College Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Division. “This event aligns with Sinclair’s mission to find the need and endeavor to meet it by providing exceptional education and training to prepare students with the skills they need to fill the growing workforce demands of advanced manufacturing employers throughout the Dayton region.”


For the second year, Sinclair Community College partnered with FastLane which specializes in solutions for manufacturing and engineering companies.


“Manufacturing is a vital and evolving industry and right now, workforce development is critical. By engaging high school students early on, we can expose them to the many benefits of careers in advanced manufacturing,” said April Vanover, Workforce Development & Community Outreach Lead –FastLane. “U.S. manufacturers face a potential shortage of more than two million skilled workers by 2028, and FastLane is committed to working with employers and education partners to build the workforce now and in the future.”


The following companies participated in Sinclair’s Manufacturing Day including:

  • FastLane
  • Yaskawa Motoman
  • Quality Quartz Engineering
  • Belcan Engineering
  • Secure Cyber Defense
  • Parker Lord
  • Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory (GRILL)
  • National Air and Space Intel Center (NASIC)
  • Vega Americas

Industry professionals engaged students by providing highlights about their career journeys and offered valuable insights into the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing Day is an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute and is manufacturing’s biggest annual opportunity to inspire the next generation, positively shift perceptions about the industry, and build a foundation for the manufacturing workforce of the future. The Manufacturing Institute engages underrepresented communities and shifts perceptions about careers in modern manufacturing, leads skilled training and career development programs, provides thought leadership and research on the changing state of the workforce, and builds partnerships to scale up its impact on manufacturing in the United States.

School districts participating in Manufacturing Day are part of Sinclair’s FlexFactor Program. In the Spring of 2021, Sinclair Community College began collaborating with area K-12 school districts to offer FlexFactor. FlexFactor, developed by NextFlex, is an outreach, recruitment, and STEM education program designed to familiarize K-12 students with advanced manufacturing technology, entrepreneurship, and the education and career pathways that can lead to a STEM career. NextFlex is one of the nation’s 16 Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. Since 2021, 1,055 students from 11 high schools and four educational centers in five counties have participated in the FlexFactor programming with Sinclair Community College. 

School districts interested in participating in Sinclair’s FlexFactor Program can contact Julie M. Huckaba, FlexFactor Project Manager, at or 937-478-2463.