Manufacturing Day Is Oct. 4

Get a firsthand look at precision manufacturing in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park

by Tom Strong, Operations Manager, Door County Economic Development Corporation

The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is hosting its third annual Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park, and the Door County Manufacturers Association is generously sponsoring the event. 

Free public tours will begin at 12:30 p.m.; the final tours will start at 4 pm. To see for yourself the great industrial capabilities that the 11 participating manufacturers have, you may tour Cadence, Hatco, Hi Tec, Key Industrial Plastics, Marine Travelift, ExacTech, N.E.W Industries, Pro Products, Sunshine House, Therma-Tron-X and WireTech. Each manufacturer will start tours roughly every half hour.

DCEDC is staffing the welcome tent at the industrial park’s entrance on Neenah Avenue in front of Hi Tec to answer questions about our economic- and workforce-development programs and to share company profile sheets, event details and a map of participating companies. 

Sunshine House will have a brat fry, 10:30 am – 1 pm, at 55 Yew St., with all proceeds supporting its many great programs. While you’re there, check out the NWTC ElectroMechanical Training Lab for a hands-on learning experience in the front parking lot.

In addition to the public tours, 240 students from Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol will tour these facilities, 8:30-11:30 am, and have the chance to explore job shadowing and apprenticeship opportunities.

Why do these manufacturers open their doors to student groups and the public? The answer is simple: They have a lot to be proud of and want to share it with Door County residents. (These facilities are not generally open for public access.) Oct. 4 is Manufacturing Day across the nation, and these companies are participating by welcoming the public to see their production floors, which boast cutting-edge, precision industrial technology that produces great products that are in demand. 

What does this mean for Door County? In short, these companies have a tremendous impact on the county’s economic vitality. They employ 1,400 of our neighbors, friends and relatives in good-paying, family-supporting jobs that make it possible for many to call Door County home. These jobs also indirectly support other businesses by allowing these wage earners to shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants. Many families also have children in our schools.

What does this mean for job seekers? There’s a variety of opportunities for those seeking employment. Collectively, these companies seek to add 127 new employees, and information about current openings will be available on site.

Prior to beginning my role at DCEDC, I counted myself as one of those people who knew about the manufacturing companies here in the industrial park, but I didn’t really appreciate their advanced capabilities and their impact on our local economy. Every time I tour any of these facilities now, I’m constantly impressed by how clean the production areas are and how advanced the production equipment is. I’m equally impressed by the friendly people we encounter along the way. That speaks volumes for the residents of Door County. 

When you tour these companies yourself, I believe you’ll be equally impressed. Visit DCEDC staff members at the welcome tent. Have lunch at the Sunshine House brat fry. Meet owners and employees. Get to know these manufacturing companies, which are an incredible asset to Door County.

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