Business

Tri-State MakerFest grows in second year, will bring together businesses, students, job seekers

Titan Wheel representative Carman Brown, left, discusses wheel manufacturing with Southeastern High School seniors, from left, Blake Frew, Dakota Lewallen, Ben Janssen and Garrett Haines at Titan's booth last year during the Tri-State MakerFest at the Oakley-Lindsay Center. The event allows a variety of area manufacturers to discuss their products and highlight job opportunities with high school students and the public.This year's Makerfest is scheduled Nov. 1-3. | H-W File Photo
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 13, 2018 5:40 pm Updated: Sep. 13, 2018 5:49 pm

QUINCY -- About 300 high school juniors and seniors got a glimpse of the jobs 20 local manufacturers had available during the first Tri-State MakerFest last year.

This year's MakerFest should be even bigger.

"Where last year we limited it to manufacturing and logistics, this year we've opened it up to every industry. We want the banking sector and skilled trades. We want entrepreneurs. We want them all," said Angela Caldwell, director of workforce development at the Great River Economic Development Foundation.

MakerFest is scheduled Nov. 1-3 both inside and outside the Oakley-Lindsay Center.

The three-day event will start with business-to-business networking from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 1. The first part of the high school S.T.E.A.M. (Science, technology, engineering, art and math) competition also will be held.

On Nov. 2, a student open house will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Then on Nov. 3, the second part of the S.T.E.A.M. competition will be held. There will be activities for students from kindergarten through sixth grade and a job fair will be held between 9 a.m. and noon.

Homebank is sponsoring the event to showcase local businesses to area students and job seekers, giving guests an in-depth look at area businesses, while spotlighting jobs for the workforce.

Jim Rubottom, vice president of human resources at Knapheide Manufacturing Co., said the company participated in MakerFest last year because it offered an opportunity to meet high school students from across the area.

"It allowed us to promote our company and discuss opportunities at Knapheide -- to be able to explain not only a job is available, but a person can build a career and grow with our organization," Rubottom said.

Brenton Wadsworth, refinery manager at Archer Daniels Midland Co., was pleased to see students asking questions outside the classroom about industries where they might work after graduation.

"I am looking forward to talking with the young adults and giving them some advice to help guide them in their career path after high school," Wadsworth said.

Businesses can participate by:

Setting up technical demonstrations.

Having a display of equipment, robotics or a video presentation.

Presenting something interactive.

Discussing skills needed by job seekers.

Businesses can register at www.gredf.org under the Workforce Development tab. There, companies have a choice of booth size starting at $85, with the option for both indoor and outdoor display. Registration deadline is Oct. 1.

MakerFest also is partnering with John Wood Community College, Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois, West Central Region Education for Employment System No. 240 / Quincy Area Vocational and Technical Center and The Herald-Whig.

More information is available from Joi Cuartero Austin at GREDF at 217-223-4313.

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