Students visit label plant
MILFORD – Thousands of children across the country visited local manufacturing plants last week as a way to explore future careers.
Among the students participating in more than 2,600 National Manufacturing Day events were sixth-graders from Milford Middle School who went to Amherst Label.
The Milford company produces custom labels for a wide variety of products, including Polar beverages and Market Basket Supermarket brand products.
This was the second year the company has participated. School buses transported about 60 students and their teachers to the Westchester Drive plant.
Two classes of students were split into six groups. Three groups went to the company cafeteria for refreshments and a presentation called "The Amherst Label Painted Picture: How to Chart Your Own Course for Success." The other groups toured six manufacturing areas of the facility, starting from three spots, like a golf scramble. Students learned about four-color process printing, screen printing, die cutting, finishing and packaging, and had a chance to decorate packages with sample labels.
In the cafeteria, marketing manager Ruth Sterling told the students how she came to choose her career.
"When I was your age, I had no idea" what she wanted to do, Sterling said. "All I knew was that I liked writing letters to my aunt with little pictures" on them.
Now, "I like working in a place where people help solve problems," she said.
Sterling talked about the importance of goal-setting and encouraged the students to talk about their own goals. Then the students were given a "Labels 101" tour of the plant, where workers demonstrated and explained the processes.
Amherst Label, family-owned and operated since 1978, makes stickers, decals, tags and flexible packaging for companies across the Northeast.
Manufacturing Day is sponsored by several manufacturing organizations, giving businesses an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is – and what it isn’t.
The goal is to address the skilled labor shortage and connect with future generations. Thee number of events taking place this year was up from 1,500 last year. There were 10 in New Hampshire.