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Cooper Tire Expecting to Reach 10,000 Students at October Manufacturing Day Events

Cooper Tire will be holding Manufacturing Day events in local communities all throughout October.


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Marking its fourth year as a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) and Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) “Dream It. Do It.” program, Cooper Tire will connect with more than 10,000 students—primarily eighth graders—for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) events throughout October. Cooper will focus on the communities where the company has major facilities—Findlay, Ohio; Texarkana, Ark.; and Tupelo, Miss. In addition to participating in some community-wide efforts, the company will host its own “Cooper Manufacturing Experience” events. These highly interactive, hands-on events have been planned by the company’s Dream Team, a group of approximately 40 early-career employees from across the company who work with students year-round to educate and improve the image of careers in manufacturing with the goal of strengthening the future workforce pipeline.

“If we want students to consider careers in manufacturing, we need to show them firsthand how exciting and technology-driven today’s manufacturing environment is,” said John Bollman, Cooper’s chief human resources officer. “To effectively reach students, nothing beats Cooper’s Manufacturing Experience, which gives them an opportunity to see, touch and try equipment and talk directly with people who are part of the everyday working world here at Cooper. Every year, we witness the perceptions of students change right before our eyes once they see and understand what we do and envision themselves a part of it someday. That’s powerful.”


Matt Petr, product design engineer for Cooper’s North American technical center, said, “I joined the Cooper Dream Team because I want to be a part of something that has a positive impact on the future of our community and our company. I enjoy helping students understand how interesting and complex manufacturing is, and that careers in our field can also be creative and fun. My goal is to help students get excited about the infinite career opportunities available in manufacturing and get them to begin thinking about what they need to do now to prepare for their future.”

Patrice Fitte, manager of distribution and operations planning for Cooper Texarkana, added, “I love helping to educate young people on the fascinating careers available in manufacturing. I want to show the students, as well as the parents and teachers, that manufacturing offers rewarding careers and the opportunity to work in exciting and innovative environments. My goal is to have the students leave Manufacturing Day truly inspired to pursue a career in manufacturing.”

While National MFG Day is officially Oct. 5 this year, the Cooper Manufacturing Experience will be offered to students throughout the month of October in Cooper communities.

Findlay, Ohio, Oct. 2-5

In Findlay, where Cooper’s global headquarters, technical facilities and a tire manufacturing/distribution facility are located, approximately 1,000 eighth grade students from 11 schools will come to an outdoor event at company headquarters Oct. 2 to 5 to experience 16 different interactive stations. The stations, which range from tire design, mold design, mixing, the millroom, tire assembly, curing, finishing and tire testing, engage students in understanding the manufacturing process. They will also learn about careers in research and development, engineering, marketing, human resources, procurement and more. For example, students will have the opportunity to see 3D printing in action and learn how 3-D prototypes are used in tire production.


Cooper Tire Manufacturing Day 2018—2

They will also see robotics equipment working and help hand-inspect tires to see how Cooper ensures quality. United Steelworkers (USW) Local 207L will host an interactive trivia contest where students can show off what they have learned. New activities in Findlay this year include the opportunity for students to use radio frequency identification (RFID) scanners to understand how Cooper deploys them in its operations and they will race each other to assemble LEGO® vehicles using lean manufacturing techniques. In addition, Oct. 3-5, Ohio State University will showcase its award-winning EcoCAR2 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, which bested 14 other universities in the Advanced Vehicle Technology competition, sponsored by the Department of Energy and General Motors, with support also from Cooper.

Texarkana, Arkansas, Oct. 9-11

In Texarkana, where Cooper has a tire manufacturing/distribution facility, approximately 2,000 students from 14 middle and junior high schools will come to the Texarkana Convention Center Oct. 9 through 11 to experience many of the same interactive stations that will be featured as part of the Findlay event. In addition, Cooper employees who are alumni of the participating schools are scheduled to speak to students about their personal career paths and what led them from being a student to working in manufacturing at Cooper.


Tupelo, Mississippi, Oct. 2-4 and Oct. 19 and 22

In Tupelo, where Cooper has a tire production/distribution facility, the company will participate in the local Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo Oct. 2 to 4 at the BancorpSouth arena. More than 7,000 eighth grade students will attend the Expo, which is an annual local event that will feature dozens of area businesses, giving students a glimpse into many different career options, including manufacturing and Cooper. In addition, the Cooper Dream Team will host the Cooper Manufacturing Experience on-site at Tupelo High School on Oct. 19 and 22, when some 1,200 students will experience many of the same exciting and interactive stations that Findlay and Texarkana will offer.

Schedule of events by location:

Findlay, Ohio (Cooper Tire Headquarters)

October 2 – 5

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time

Texarkana, Arkansas (Texarkana Convention Center)

October 9 – 10

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. local time

October 11

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. local time

Tupelo, Mississippi

Imagine The Possibilities (BancorpSouth Arena)

October 2

8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. local time

October 3

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. local time

October 3

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time

October 4

8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. local time

Tupelo, Mississippi High School

October 19 and 22

7:50 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. local time

Students who attend the Cooper Manufacturing Experience in all three communities will be encouraged to share their experiences through social media using #CooperCareers and #MFGDay18, which will expand awareness of manufacturing to family and friends across the U.S.

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