The College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), in conjunction with MHIA and MHEDA, hosted Classroom Day at ProMat 2011 on Monday, March 21. The event was a program for students and professors in engineering, technology, manufacturing, operations, supply chain and logistics to come and learn about the material handling industry first-hand. 266 students from 24 high schools, colleges and universities attended. This was MHIA’s eighth year offering the program, and this year was by far the largest. 35 show exhibitors and 24 industry professional tour guides were responsible for giving the students a glimpse of the industry. Each group of students got the opportunity to visit 6 exhibits and ask questions. “It was a great experience getting exposed to a trade show and actually being able to be in a solutions environment,” says Tom Sciotto, a senior industrial engineering major at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). “I was able to attend the show two years ago, and the changes in technology and solutions even since then are enormous.” One of Sciotto’s classmates, Andrew Sullivan, echoed those sentiments. “I was looking forward to seeing the theory that we have learned at school actually being exhibited in real life. The AS/RS system in particular was very impressive. I enjoyed seeing all of the new innovations in action,” says the RIT Industrial Engineering senior.
MHEDA Executive Vice President Liz Richards gave a presentation about MHEDA’s Gateway Program, a system designed to help students find jobs in material handling. Students can post resumes and read available job positions. “Classroom Day is so important because it raises awareness and recognition of the material handling industry among students who represent our future employees, buyers and users of our equipment,” says Richards.
The event helped prepare students as they prepare to embark on a career in the material handling industry. “I was expecting to see all of the new products and gadgets and my expectations were certainly fulfilled,” says Brian Traut, a senior in Industrial Distribution at Purdue University. “I saw technology that I will be able to apply in my warehouse as I pursue a career in industrial distribution.”