Manufacturing Camp for Kids

Community colleges partner to develop summer manufacturing program for students.

This summer kids might be packing their bags for a different kind of camp that teaches them how to build a product from scratch thanks to a collaborative effort between community colleges and a manufacturing organization founded by TV star John Ratzenberger.

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs (NBT) and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) said March 23 they will offer summer manufacturing camps targeting secondary-education youth. NBT is the foundation of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and was created by Ratzenberger to bring awareness to the lack of skilled manufacturing workers.

The camp is designed to expose campers to math, science, engineering and entrepreneurship principles and the opportunity to view technology being used in the industry.

It will be offered at 18 community colleges nationwide. Camp participants will use technology to create a product from start to finish in 3-D design, CNC programming, welding, machining, and other applications, while learning product creation, problem solving, entrepreneurship and team building.

The program also includes visits to area manufacturers so students can see products being made and receive career advice from company entrepreneurs.

"These camps expose youth to vocational and technical trades that they would rarely encounter in public education systems," said actor and producer John Ratzenberger in a prepared statement. "Many young people today have no role models when it comes to fixing things themselves or taking pride in building something useful, and they dismiss the idea of considering a career in one of the manual arts such as manufacturing, electrical, plumbing, carpentry or welding. These are some of the career areas that offer the greatest opportunity for people who want to become entrepreneurs. With more than 70% of all the jobs created in the United States coming from small businesses -- many of them started and run by inspired entrepreneurs -- this is a segment of our economy that deserves all the support and inspiration we can provide."

More information about the camp and locations is available at

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