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Company touts manufacturing
Event opens doors, minds
Jerry Ward, Metcam vice president of operations, far right, leads a tour during National Manufacturing Day on Friday. - photo by Crystal Ledford

A south Forsyth business opened its doors to the public Friday as part of National Manufacturing Day.

Metcam, a fabricator of sheet metal components on Tidwell Circle, joined hundreds of other manufacturing businesses around the country for the second annual event presented through the National Association of Manufacturers.

Bruce Hagenau, president of Metcam, said the company also participated in the event last year, drawing a fairly large crowd of guests.

“We’ve got a number of folks this year signed up that are executives with various companies that do business with us, compete with us, sell to us,” he said.

“Then we have a handful of people in the neighborhood that want to just drop by and see what’s going on.”

The company also took part in another open house event earlier in the week, Hagenau said.

“That one was put on by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and we had over 60 people here from all over the country,” he said. “We had folks from Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana … so this was a week for opening our doors.”

Joe Shaughnessy of J.W. Outfitters, which provides Metcam employees with their uniforms, was among those who stopped by Friday. As a vendor, he said he was happy to have a chance to learn more about what Metcam does.

“I wanted to get more of an understanding of what the actual nuts and bolts of things here are and to show our [company’s] support,” he said.

That’s what National Manufacturing Day is all about.

According to information on the National Association of Manufacturers’ website, the day’s purpose is to “address common misconceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinator effort, what manufacturing is – and is not.”

Hagenau said the day also serves to educate the public about the availability and quality of jobs in the manufacturing sector.
“We’ll have a quite a few younger folks from some of the technical schools,” he said. “There are a lot of good-paying jobs in manufacturing and we want to let the kids and parents know that, because many do not even consider it as a career path anymore.”

Hagenau said the company opened in Forsyth County in 1989 and today provides jobs for about 180 people on two shifts.

Overall, he said the manufacturing event is good for his and other similar companies because it provides an opportunity to provide education.

“That’s what it’s really all about, is awareness,” he said. “It’s helpful to change perspectives on what manufacturing is. It’s not all dirty and it’s not all high-risk. It’s actually got a lot of technology involved it and it can be clean. We want to just change that attitude.”