Local Eighth Graders Tour Orthopedic Manufacturing Facilities

WARSAW — College isn’t for everyone, and OrthoWorx hoped that it could show Kosciusko County eighth graders that it is “possible to have a good job” without the degree.

Local eighth graders took tours of Ivy Tech Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, Warsaw Area Career Center and Precision Medical Technologies throughout the day Thursday, Oct. 5.

Students learned about the various career opportunities available in the orthopedic manufacturing industry in the area. While at Precision Medical Technologies, Edgewood students were informed that starting paying at the company with no prior experience would be $12 in the quality department with the possibility of advancement with pay up to $26.

“If you direct your students to this type of career, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be an entry level machinist for the rest of their lives. Once they get their foot in the door, that’s really where they determine what they want to do,” Tom Till, director of advanced manufacturing at Ivy Tech, stated earlier this year when faculty and staff toured.

Along with learning about salary and what the various positions might entail, students watched employees performing jobs throughout the tours, experiencing first hand what a career at Precision Medical Technologies would entail.

“Hand-eye coordination,” one employee answered when asked what were some skills need for polishing. “You have to be able to not alter the plates. You’re just cleaning them up. Any alterations result in a trashing the product.”

Students were also handed an overview sheet of what Precision Medical Technologies looks for in applicants as well as a pay scale and current job openings.

OrthoWorx Announces Think Ortho Tour

WARSAW — OrthoWorx announced the upcoming Think Ortho Tour, a program for eighth-grade students of area schools and their parents/guardians that encourages students to pursue technical careers in the growing orthopedic industry. The event will be held on Oct. 5 and will include tours of Ivy Tech’s Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, the Warsaw Area Career Center and a local orthopedic company, Precision Medical Technologies.

Students and parents on this tour will learn about the orthopedic industry, advanced manufacturing career opportunities available in the Warsaw region and the skills needed to pursue those exciting careers. Tour times are 9 a.m. – noon and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Registration is required for this event. To register as a parent or student, please contact your school’s guidance counselor.

The Think Ortho Tour is part of OrthoWorx’s Talent Development Initiative to address the skills gap in the orthopedic industry, particularly in advanced manufacturing fields. The program started as a bus tour for local teachers, administrators and guidance counselors, but has now grown to include students and their parents.

“Ivy Tech Community College aims to generate awareness around the various career options available in orthopedic manufacturing here in Kosciusko County,” stated Tom Till, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at the Orthopedic and Advanced Manufacturing Center at Ivy Tech Warsaw. “There is a critical need for people to fill these positions that come with good wages. Many require postsecondary education but not always a traditional four-year college degree. The Think Ortho Tour will provide individuals a chance to see these high-level careers first-hand as well as the local educational resources that can prepare them for these positions.”

This program is open to students from Warsaw Community, Tippecanoe Valley and Whitko Community Schools whose students feed into the Warsaw Area Career Center. The tour is also open to eighth-grade students from Wawasee Community Schools.

Tom Edington, Superintendent of Wawasee Community Schools, stated, “Though our students take advantage of the vocational training and courses of the Wawasee Area Career and Technical Cooperative, I recognize that the skills students learn at our facility can prove useful for careers in the burgeoning orthopedic industry in Kosciusko County. We are excited to partner with other school systems within the county to provide students and parents with this experience.”

Selected eighth-grade students and their parents/guardians will be receiving communications from their respective schools throughout the weeks leading up to the Think Ortho Tour. If you or your student are interested in learning more about how you can participate, please contact the guidance counselor at your middle school.