Kalamazoo Valley Community College to Host Virtual October 1 Skilled Trades Expo

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To celebrate National Manufacturing Week, Kalamazoo Valley Community College will stage a virtual Skilled Trades Expo on Thursday, Oct. 1 at http://www.kvcc.edu/skilledtradesexpo.

“We’re in a constant state of search, looking for people to fill well-paying jobs.” David Maurer of Humphrey Products said.

To celebrate National Manufacturing Week, Kalamazoo Valley Community College will stage a virtual Skilled Trades Expo on Thursday, Oct. 1 at http://www.kvcc.edu/skilledtradesexpo.

Prospective students, families, employers and the general public are encouraged to view and participate in a variety of educational and interactive videos and activities which will include:

  • Interviews with Kalamazoo Valley faculty members
  • Q and A sessions with employers and industry experts
  • Information about training at Kalamazoo Valley for high-paying jobs in these pathways:
  • Automotive Technology
  • Electrical Technology
  • HVAC Technology
  • Engineering/Design/Manufacturing Technology
  • Welding Technology
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Chemical Technology

Although virtual, the expo is patterned after a similar on-campus event held during 2019 when more than 800 people visited the college’s Texas Township Campus to learn about these careers. Sponsors of the event include Concept Molds, Humphrey Products, Landscape Forms and Stryker Corporation.

Kalamazoo Valley alumni Jason Sparks, general manager at Concept Molds, completed an apprenticeship while he was a student at Valley. “The apprenticeship training that I received both in the classroom at Valley and hands-on at the shop gave me the background and the technical understanding of mold making,” Sparks said. The Schoolcraft-based company opened in 1992 and employs 25 people, building plastic injection molds for the medical device market, as well as for the automotive, industrial, and consumer products markets, specializing in precision injection mold design, engineering, construction, management, and design support.

“There has been a huge push recently to get the younger generation interested in skilled trades after high school and I am eager to do my part to help,” Sparks said. “There is an abundance of job opportunities for incoming prospects in skilled trades and mold making and machining. Many of these opportunities in mold making can lead to growth and advancement within the trade and plastics manufacturing industry and most mold shops are very safe, clean, bright and climate controlled.”

David Maurer is President and CFO for Kalamazoo’s Humphrey Products company. He said he thinks the Skilled Trades Expo is a great way for students and parents to explore training and employment options and said he is always looking for qualified job applicants. “We’re in a constant state of search, looking for people to fill well-paying jobs.” Maurer said. “We’re thrilled to be associated with initiatives like Kalamazoo Valley’s Skilled Trades Expo that will help inform the public about high paying, rewarding careers in the skilled trades.”

To access the Skilled Trades Expo, go to http://www.kvcc.edu/skilledtradesexpo beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 1. Content will remain available for the entire month.

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