Weather Forecast


An inside look at manufacturing

Contributed Alexandria Extrusion will be featured during Saturday's tour.

The world of manufacturing isn't what it used to be.

Much of the manufacturing world has changed from manual to automation.

"Manufacturing jobs are much more specialized," said Gregg Raisanen, dean of academic affairs at Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC). "Jobs are highly technical nowadays."

To help showcase what manufacturing businesses have to offer in this area, a free tour of eight local manufacturing businesses is planned for tomorrow, Saturday, October 30.

The tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations - Aagard, Alexandria Extrusion Company, Donnelly Custom Manufacturing, Douglas Machine Inc., Douglas Scientific LLC, ITW Heartland, Massman Automation Designs LLC, and WASP, Inc.

The tour is sponsored by West Central Initiative, Tri-State Manufacturers Association, ATCC, Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission and the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

Raisanen said that although the tour would be great for prospective students who are thinking about a career in manufacturing, it is also a great opportunity for the public to see how manufacturing has changed.

He called manufacturing in this day and age more sophisticated and more technology based.

The tour will help provide awareness to the changes taking place in this area of business.

"This is an opportunity for the public to see what goes on behind their doors," said Raisanen of the manufacturers involved in the tour. "I think people would be amazed to see what happens."

Although the tour is about the manufacturers, the ATCC offers a variety of manufacturing and industrial technology programs, including:

•Energy technical specialist.

•Fluid power technology.

•Mechanical drafting design and engineering technology.

•Machine tool technology.

•Welding technology.




Raisanen said the tour, which he noted is not a job fair, is part of the Dream It. Do It. campaign. The campaign helps to provide career awareness for the manufacturing industry.