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Olathe company hosts Manufacturing Day for students

Olathe Manufacturing Day
Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 20:06:13-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Manufacturing jobs in both Kansas and Missouri are disappearing at a rapid pace, according to a recent report.

"That really hits hard because those are the jobs that built the middle class and actually built America," said Duke Dujakovich, president of the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO.

Layoffs at places such as Nestle and Pepsi have impacted Kansas City, with a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the metro has lost almost 2,000 manufacturing jobs so far this year.

To solve the problem, companies that have jobs available are targeting the next generation.

"I think it's one of creating an awareness for all the opportunities and opinions that exist for them," said Chris Muhlenkamp, senior vice president of global operations and supply chain for Allegion.

On Wednesday, Allegion hosted local students for its third Manufacturing Day in Olathe.

Muhlenkamp said while the business outlook might look rough here in Kansas City, the future is looking bright.

"By 2025, the estimation (is) as many as two million jobs," Muhlenkamp said.

The company is hoping to expose young students to what could be their future career and help them find ways to build a successful life.

"There is so much work from a manufacturing standpoint that goes behind the scenes,” Muhlenkamp said. “Whether it's IT work, materials planning, the facilities and facilities maintenance.”

When it comes to the recent job losses, Muhlenkamp said he isn't worried about the future because those companies will always need help.

"I feel really excited about what manufacturing can offer not only today, but in the future," Muhlenkamp said.

Allegion was one of 20 companies hosting a Manufacturing Day event on Wednesday in Kansas.