Allegion's Manufacturing Day 2016: Combatting the Skills Gap

According to a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled over the next 10 years – but a skills gap plaguing the industry will result in a staggering 2 million of them going unfilled. As a global manufacturer of leading safety and security solutions, that’s a serious concern to Allegion, as well as many of its peers.

And, that’s why Allegion is making a proactive effort to share the positive reality of manufacturing careers within its communities. The truth is that there are incredible jobs in manufacturing in a variety of functions, from production and distribution to engineering and environmental health and safety. Many individuals who have made careers in manufacturing at Allegion have worked in a number of these roles, developing a variety of valuable skills and leading very dynamic day-to-day work lives.

To showcase this reality, Allegion Americas annually participates in Manufacturing Day, a nationwide event during which North American manufacturers open their doors to help educate people about manufacturing. It is supported by organizations like the National Association of Manufacturers.

In 2016, Allegion Americas participated at six of its operations: Colorado Springs, Colo.; Ensenada, Mexico; Tecate, Mexico; Tijuana, Mexico; Princeton, Ill.; and Indianapolis, Ind. “These events are all about inspiring the next generation of manufacturers in the communities where we thrive,” Allegion Americas Vice President of Operations Cindy Farrer said.

Colorado Springs: Oct. 5
Allegion’s Colorado Springs Operations held its first-ever Manufacturing Day event this year. More than 70 high school students and community members met to tour the plant and see first-hand how products from leading Allegion brands like Schlage® are made. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers attended the premiere event, giving brief remarks on the importance of manufacturing to the economy. “If we want to continue to move our community forward, we must show our support for industries that support us – and that’s why I’m here today,” Suthers said. “Allegion and other Colorado Springs manufacturers offer good-paying jobs and opportunities to drive innovation locally.”

Allegion’s Colorado Springs Operations employs nearly 500 people who manufacture approximately 58,000 locks, keys and cylinders daily, as well as high-security credentials and biometric products. Allegion products have been manufactured in Colorado Springs for nearly 40 years.

Ensenada, Tecate & Tijuana: Oct. 5, 6 & 7
As a part of its new program called “Open Doors University,” Allegion’s Baja Operations hosted three Manufacturing Day events in October. “We actually hosted a first round of these events in May of this year,” said Allegion Human Resources Director Luis Quintero. “Our plants offer a large number of internships that often lead to full-time employment. Open Doors University allows us to strengthen relationships with college students in our community and fill positions that require degrees with promising local talent.”

In total, Allegion’s Baja Operations invited 170 local college students through the doors if its facilities, with nearly 60 employees showcasing how products are made and sharing their experiences from the plant floors. The events included presentations, site tours and opportunities for Q&A. “Having new students visit our operations sparks fresh ideas among our own employees, too,” Quintero added.

Allegion’s Ensenada Operations opened in 1995 and employs more than 1,300 people today, while the Tecate Operations opened in 1984 and employs approximately 500 people. The Tijuana location is the newest in the Baja region, opening in 2009 and employing nearly 500 people currently. All three Baja operations specialize in manufacturing commercial and residential door locks and their parts.

Princeton: Oct. 27
Since 2014, Allegion’s Princeton Operations has participated in Manufacturing Day as a part of a larger local collaboration called the Discover Manufacturing Career Expo. The Princeton-area expo is supported by the North Central Regional Betterment Coalition, Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC) and Starved Rock Associates Vocational & Technical Education. It includes opportunities for students to also visit other local manufacturers as well as attend a career expo at IVCC.

More than 70 high school students and government officials toured the 200,000-square-foot Princeton facility where Allegion Americas manufactures LCN® commercial door closers. Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram was in attendance. “Princeton is very proud to have been the site of Allegion’s LCN Division for over 65 years. Our community has witnessed a culture of continuous improvement in Allegion’s product lines, steady growth in sales and innovations in manufacturing processes,” Mayor Quiram said. “This is a forward-thinking company. The City of Princeton will continue a strong partnership with Allegion for the next 65 years and beyond.”

Allegion’s Princeton Operations employs more than 300 people who manufacture approximately 6,000 door closers daily. Allegion products have been manufactured in Princeton for nearly 90 years.

Indianapolis: Nov. 8
This was the second annual Manufacturing Day for Allegion’s Indianapolis Operations, where door hardware and accessories are manufactured for the Falcon®, Glynn-Johnson®, Ives®, Von Duprin® and Zero International® brands. This year, area high school and college students were invited to come. In fact, some employees recommended students from their own families, and with an employee connection, students from a local school for the deaf also participated.

Nearly 70 guests attended in total and were given the opportunity to hear from State Rep. Robin Shackleford as well as Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Angela Smith Jones on the importance of manufacturing. The Indianapolis Operations also offered a unique interactive panel discussion that allowed students to hear personal manufacturing experiences from eight Allegion employees. “Based on the buzz we heard from students after the event, the insights shared by our team members during the hour-long panel discussion was just as impactful as our on-site tour,” Allegion Human Resources Director Angela Layton said. “And, honestly, our employees loved being able to share their knowledge of the industry and careers in manufacturing.”

Allegion’s Indianapolis Operations employs more than 500 people. Its brands have been manufactured in Indianapolis for more than 100 years.

For more on Manufacturing Day in North America, visit www.mfgday.com.