On the page, you can find all the testimonies from the CEOs of the manufacturing companies.

Pete Cerra, Vice President of Operations at Tnemec

“Many years ago, I choose to go directly from high school and enter directly into the workforce. It was a time while unmarried and with little personal financial needs I felt I could easily support myself doing whatever I enjoyed most. After a few years, I was very fortunate to find my way into a manufacturing job at Tnemec Company in North Kansas City. While I knew nothing of high performance paint coatings, I was eager to learn. I found that there were avenues for personal growth within Tnemec by following some basic and simple guidelines. Always be on time and the guy they could rely on. Give them an honest day’s work for a fair pay. And most importantly, find how you can make yourself more valuable to the company. For me, that was by going to night school to earn my degree and help bring Tnemec into the world of the “newfangled” personal computers. I started as a batch maker on the night shift, grew into an inventory control person, then an assistant to IT to integrate the computer system into the manufacturing operation. This led to becoming the Distribution Manager and eventually to my current position as Vice President of Operations. It has been a wonderful and rewarding career and I am confident that the manufacturing sector remains a great opportunity for young people today.”

Colleen Jones, College/Career/Community Partnerships at Liberty Public Schools

“There are many opportunities in the Kansas City area for students who are interested in pursuing career areas that don’t involve a college degree. One are is that of certification which is a formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of an organized program of study following high school. Typically certificates require at least one but less than two full-time equivalent academic years, or from 900-1800 contact hours.Many companies are looking for competencies that students exhibit such as collaboration, reading for information, using basic applied math skills, good customer service, good communication skills.”

Phil Jones, President of Industrial Spring Corporation

“With the right work ethic, basic mechanical skill set, interest in manufacturing and how things work, and eagerness to learn and contribute in a long term relationship with a company, there is no reason why many of you can’t have a similar story as mine in your future. You might not end up as President of a company, but you can achieve a very successful and fulfilling career in manufacturing.”

Renee Freers, Director of College & Career Readiness at North Kansas City School District

“Developing a career focus and plan is important for students as they complete their high school degrees. Employers report that a number of job opportunities will be available here in the northland for new graduates who are not planning on going college. Many of these jobs will offer on-the-job training and others will have the option for tuition reimbursement for those who would like to further their education after starting their work. It is important for the new graduate to understand that the more skills they can bring to the job the more earning potential they will have.”