DMI Companies

New Generation of Manufacturing Professionals

School Tours

Throughout the year, DMI invites local high schools to tour facilities and learn about career opportunities in manufacturing. The tour includes a look at how automation is changing the industry and creating more advanced technology career opportunities, as well as time for Q&A with staff.

Manufacturing Day

National Manufacturing Day is an annual one-day event that DMI participates in each October. The agenda consists of a plant tour, hands-on activities that exemplify the type of manufacturing work students can perform within their field of interest, and in-depth discussions with DMI employees about their roles. Participants learn about the potential career paths at DMI and steps they can take toward their career goals. For Manufacturing Day in 2018, Westmoreland County Community College was on-site to conduct a robotics activity and talk with students interested in pursuing college/skills training after high school. DMI received positive feedback from attendees, with many students expressing strong interest in job-shadowing, co-op/internships, or post-graduate employment at DMI.

Bots IQ

DMI participates in Bots IQ, an educational robotics competition for high school students in southwestern Pennsylvania. It provides students with a unique, hands-on experience exploring the possibilities of a career in manufacturing and other related STEM fields. The program connects industry advisors to local area high schools, and together they design, build and battle their robot creations. For DMI, the program often results in students being hired for co-op or internship opportunities and/or direct hires.

Catalyst Connection Video Contest

DMI participates in a contest for middle school students run by Catalyst Connection that encourages early exposure to manufacturing. The theme of the contest is “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing?”  The competition is student-driven and begins with a tour of a manufacturing facility that students then turn into a video to showcase their perspective of what makes manufacturing stand out. DMI has hosted students on their site for the past 3 years; for more information click here.

Student Powered Solutions Initiative

DMI also participates in the Consortium for Public Education’s Student Powered Solutions initiative, working with student teams to develop solutions for real-time corporate challenges. This creative exercise serves to generate interest in both business and manufacturing and offers real-world examples of ways young people can exercise their cognitive and academic skills. Students take on the role of business consultants, doing research, gathering data, engineering solutions and even designing, building and testing prototypes. Teachers serve as a facilitators.

About the Program

“Kids need to be exposed to careers and options early. For many in-demand career paths, it is entirely possible to gain a credential during high school that will enable a student to get a great job in that field without incurring massive student loan debt.”

Best Practices

Start small

For a firm interested in piloting an education or workforce initiative, it’s important to start small and be mindful to not overextend staff. DMI started by partnering with four schools in the immediate neighborhood, and this worked well to establish networks and make sure educators and employees had the resources and support they needed to be successful.

Clarity in program marketing

Clearly articulating the application materials and participation requirements and doing direct outreach to educators will improve student engagement and set expectations from the start.

Utilize school staff to promote programming

Teachers and counselors are fantastic resources for reaching students who are best suited to a particular career and have the aptitude to be successful in a specific career. They have students’ best interests in mind and will make referrals for students who may not have sought out programming on their own.

Start outreach early

The earlier students can start making decisions about their future the better. Host programming for middle school students or high school students in their freshman and sophomore years, rather than chasing down graduating seniors each year.

About DMI Companies

DMI Companies provide HVAC products to contractors and builders worldwide. With headquarters in the Pittsburgh region, DMI focuses its educational programming efforts locally. DMI is committed to linking young people to career opportunities in manufacturing.

A few members of our Belle Vernon BotsIQ team celebrate after winning a battle
A group of participants discuss our laser cutter at the DMI Manufacturing Day event in 2018