Manufacturing is alive and well in Rhode Island—and it’s an industry ripe with career possibilities. This was the message conveyed to local high school students by Parkinson Technologies, which invited students from Cumberland High School to tour its facility on November 1 and December 14, 2013. The goal of these tours was to banish common misperceptions of manufacturing, raise awareness of the industry, and inform students and educators about the types of skills currently in demand in industrial settings.  

“Parkinson has just doubled its machinery assembly capacity,” says Parkinson Technologies President and CEO Peter Termyn, referring to the company’s recent expansion. “This is testimony to the fact that our sector of manufacturing, as well as many others in this country, is growing at a healthy rate. In our facility alone, we are actively seeking skilled candidates for engineering, field service, and machine operation positions. By partnering with area schools for these tours, we hope to help students and parents understand that there are not just jobs — but great careers to be had in manufacturing, and they are right here in our own backyard.”
Inspired by Manufacturing Day—a designated day during which manufacturers and schools around the country host educational events for their communities—Parkinson teamed up with a local career coordinator to organize the tours. The first, presented to CAD (computer-aided design) students from Cumberland High School, featured a presentation by sales engineer Vikram Raju; a 3D Solidworks demonstration by Jessica White, a mechanical engineer; a tour of the shop by Peter Galanis, director of materials management; and a demonstration of a Dusenbery slitter rewinder by John Marold, Dusenbery product specialist. The second event in December was attended by students in the robotics and engineering course at Cumberland High. During this event, David Dziadzio, director of operations and engineering at Parkinson, spoke about the manufacturing industry, what it means to be an engineer, and the importance of math and science. 
“The students had no idea what our CAD classes could allow them to do in an industrial setting," says Carl Chiulli, the career coordinator from Cumberland High School who helped set up the tours. "What they saw at Parkinson Technologies really excited them and made them think."
After having received positive feedback on both events, Parkinson hopes to offer monthly tours to other area high schools, vocational schools, and colleges. The company is already in discussions with several area institutions. 
“America’s manufacturing sector directly impacts the health of our global economy,” Termyn says. “Educating the next generation about our industry is important to securing its future, and Parkinson is proud to do our part to help spread the word.”
Parkinson Technologies, Inc.
(401) 762-2100