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2020 Manufacturing Day - Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council

On October 2, 2020, NextFlex and other manufacturers across the country opened their doors to provide an up-close view of their companies and what it’s like to work in the advanced manufacturing sector.

At this year’s Manufacturing Day, the skill and ability requirements of the future workforce was explored, highlighting the need for creative workers that can think critically, problem solve and communicate well. As part of the program, NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Institute, hosted a virtual event that brought student participants into the Institute’s state of the art Technology Hub. YouTube personality Nick Uhas, accompanied by a team of NextFlex engineers, provided an all-access pass to program participants, giving them visibility into areas of the facility that are usually off limits to the public.

Students were encouraged to ask questions about anything they saw in the facility, as well as any career or education-oriented questions that could help guide them in charting a path toward a fulfilling career in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Watch this year’s Manufacturing Day video:

In preparation for the event, we provided students on social media with a NextFlex-compiled list of the top 10 myths about modern manufacturing. You can read the list here.

You can also watch the video below to see our participation in last year’s Manufacturing Day at Jabil:

Having long been the cornerstone of the American economy, manufacturing continues to provide highly skilled and highly paid jobs that create thriving communities. Still, the diversity of existing opportunities and the corresponding career potential that accompanies those opportunities is too often overlooked or misunderstood which is why each year, Manufacturing Day celebrates and showcases both the work, and many of the individuals, that comprise the US manufacturing sector.

NextFlex, one of eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established by the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program, is a consortium of 100 members with the shared goal of advancing the manufacture of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) in the U.S. Since its formation in 2015, the NextFlex community of technologists, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable manufacturing ecosystems to further advance U.S. manufacturing across a range of technology areas.

In addition to the innovation work NextFlex leads with its members, it also operates a pilot-scale manufacturing line at its headquarters in San Jose, California. Known as the Technology Hub, this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility designs, prototypes, assembles and tests flexible hybrid electronics devices and systems that are transforming electronics by taking them “out of the box.” FHEs are lighter weight, thinner and smaller, faster and less expensive to make, and can bend, stretch or conform to any shape thereby revolutionizing electronics for both military and commercial applications in medical wearables, structural health monitoring, RF and communications, aerospace and more.