Manufacturing Day – Preparing Students for Success


This is our Product Tech Division in Maple Lake, MN. Pace Product Tech Division is an integrated magnesium resource for product development from concept to solution.

Here at Pace Industries, we recognize the importance of being passionate about your work, which is why we participate in Manufacturing Day. For three years now, we have invited students into several of our production facilities to give them a glimpse into modern manufacturing and to inspire them to pursue it as a career.

This year, we had a total of 1,228 students visit Pace Industries during October. Attendees ranged from 7th grader through college-aged students. Each Friday in October, at least one of our facilities held a Manufacturing Day event. The Harrison Division hosted two days due to the high volume of students involved in the area. Ethan Robinson, our workforce coordinator, is responsible for connecting with schools and confirming their participation. “I contact about 75 schools in the United States, including technical schools, universities and high schools,” said Robinson.

This is Robinson’s second year coordinating Manufacturing Day, and his learnings from 2015 helped shape his plans for 2016. “Last year, we really focused on the products that we made because we wanted to awe the students,” Robinson reminisces. “After talking to them last year, we learned that what they want to know about is careers.” With that knowledge, he decided to revamp the Manufacturing Day material to be more job-focused. During the students’ visit, we chose to highlight positions that we predict will be in demand when they are completing school and entering the workforce. “We’re looking to get the word out to let kids know manufacturing is a viable career path,” said Robinson.  Robotics is becoming a more prominent part of the industry so there is a lot of encouragement to pursue some kind of automation training.

During Manufacturing Day, students go on a plant tour in which they are able to see every part of the facility and learn about the different machines we work with. Afterwards, they are given the opportunity to ask associates questions they may have about the work and career opportunities available at Pace. When they leave our facility, we hope they walk away with useful information about careers they may have not formerly considered as well as how to pursue them.

We are very proud of the work we do here, and every year we look forward to the opportunity to ignite a similar passion in students that could soon help us grow professionally. As Robinson states, “The kind of work we do requires us to be proactive so we have decided to prepare the surrounding areas for the work we’re going to have. In just three short years, we can already see an impact. We’ve seen a definite uptick in the number of students applying for internships and youth apprenticeships at Pace.”


Bob D’Ortona, vice president at our Cambridge Division in North Billerica, MA, gives a tour to students from Shawsheen Valley Technical High School. They are looking at an Aluminum melting furnace with 20,000 pound capacity.


Lee Kittle, die cast manager at Pace Industries, Port City Division in Muskegon, MI, hosts students from the Muskegon Area Technological Center.  He is showing them an 850 ton die cast machine.


Hannah Niblett, talent sourcing specialist, poses with a group of Harrison High School students at our Arkansas based Harrison Division.


Bob D’Ortona doing tours with one of our QC engineers, Anne-Marie Buchenan. They are discussing and viewing a Mori Seiki NHX 5000 horizontal machining center.


Product Tech Division – Lynne McIntosh, safety manager, shows Maple Lake High School students the S56 Vertical Machining Center in the tool room. 


Product Tech Division – Homeschooled students and some from Maple Lake High School listen to a presentation about our products, career opportunities within Pace and educational paths they should take for those careers.