Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWC) is a linear and rotary motion manufacturer in Pittsburg, California and we hosted more than 80 students, educators and community members at our annual MFG DAY event. The morning kicked off with an opening keynote discussion from the company’s president, Pamela Kan, who focused on busting the myths surrounding manufacturing. She highlighted key areas that are most meaningful to students – salaries, job opportunities, use of advanced technology and the growing number of women in the industry.
Participants were then divided into smaller groups and rotated through several different areas:
Area 1: Career Panel – Four BWC employees gave details on their job roles, educational backgrounds and most exciting projects, while also answering questions from the crowd. Panelists from technical and non-technical roles spoke so students could understand the breadth of jobs available in manufacturing.
Area 2: Plant Tour – Participants were able to view several areas of the facility, including more classified areas where photos weren’t allowed. Q&A was an important aspect to the tour sessions as well.
Area 3: Hands on Demo of a Robotic Arm – One of our engineers has been programming a robotic arm this past year and he showed it to the students and discussed his work from the planning to its current stage.
Area 4: Hands on Assembly Project – Students assembled a mini-representation of a linear actuator that included a carriage with four wheels that ran along a pair of BWC DualVee® tracks. They had to assemble the studs/ wheels to the carriage and then adjust the wheels so the carriage would travel smoothly down the tracks.
During the event, participants were fully engaged and it was an interactive experience where they listened, but also had time to ask questions and discuss ideas. With all presentations and sessions occurring in 20-30 minute blocks, it provided a fast-paced structure that also allowed for real learning. We are always impressed with the types of questions the students ask and we feel they leave with a much better understanding of the great opportunities available in a manufacturing career. At the conclusion of the event, participants were given gift bags and encouraged to contact some of the Bishop-Wisecarver employees they met that day.