Inspiring the Next Generation of Makers - The Shop Rat Foundation with Kelly Burr

Episode 64 | Challenges: Workforce

The Manufacturing Industry of today looks a lot different than it did 20 or 30 years ago. Modern machine shops are safe, clean working environments; equipped with high-tech machinery. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma associated with manufacturing as a "dirty" and "dark" profession. So how do we change this perception amongst our youth?  Or perhaps more importantly, their parents, whose misperceptions of the industry might lead them to believe that a four-year college degree is the only sure route to a rewarding career.

"To change people's minds and to change the perception [of manufacturing], it's the youth that we need to be educating."

-Kelly Burr

On this episode of MakingChips, we welcome our guest Kelly Burr, Executive Director of the Shop Rat Foundation. The Shop Rat Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to ignite interest in manufacturing careers among our nation’s youth, through development of innovative educational tools, curriculum and outreach programs and in partnerships with schools, community groups, companies and industry associations. We also discuss manufacturing newsIMTS 2016, and how to start a similar hands-on program in your community.

Episode Structure:

  • [00:07] - Episode Preview
  • [01:55] - Manufacturing News
  • [05:12] - IMTS 2016 Registration
  • [07:10] - Welcome Kelly Burr
  • [08:52] - Shop Rat's Story
  • [12:10] -  Shop Rat's Mission
  • [14:10] - Students
  • [15:00] - Shop Rat’s Programs
  • [18:15] - Machining Class
  • [20:45] - Student Feedback
  • [22:05] - Exploratory and Preparatory Programs
  • [23:02] - Starting a Similar Program in your Community
  • [27:12] - Conclusion of Episode

Mentioned in this Episode:

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