In North Charleston, Boeing is inspiring the next generation of tech professionals.
The aerospace giant has grown a one time meeting with Beaufort County officials which was meant to update them on the company’s work in the Lowcountry to a full time effort to establish a workforce pipeline in South Carolina.
“People heard about that first meeting and, after that, we started getting requests from churches and community groups that wanted to learn more about Boeing,” said Boeing’s director of national strategy and engagement Tommy Preston. “From there, it just exploded.”
The outreach program is now called Boeing Days. They have now hit the milestone of making presentations on high tech jobs in every South Carolina county. They’ve made contact with over 21,000 students and 3,600 community leaders.
One of the key messages that Preston and other Boeing workers bring to the civic groups, politicians, churches, and school groups that they meet, is that manufacturing jobs today are not the same as they were in previous decades. Many parents still think that manufacturing is ” textiles and factories and the experiences their parents and grandparents had,” says Preston.
“So it’s been neat for us to have an opportunity to show communities what advanced manufacturing really looks like,” he said. “To talk about automation and additive manufacturing and robotics and the new processes that we have in our facility.”