SUNSET PARK — Industry City celebrated National Manufacturing Month by having hundreds of Sunset Park students tour the massive waterfront manufacturing hub on Friday, Oct. 4 and Friday, Oct. 11.
National Manufacturing Month begins the first Friday of every October with the goal of showcasing modern manufacturing careers by encouraging companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.
Locally, elementary and middle school students from P.S. 24, P.S. 172 and Sunset Park Prep toured different businesses at Industry City to learn about manufacturing, the fifth year the complex has offered the tours.
The companies they visited included One Girl Cookies, MFactory, AbelCine, Theo Rock Nazz, Soho Letterpress, Flavor Paper, Malia Mills and Micòl Ceramics.
“There’s more manufacturing space at Industry City today than at any other point in the last several decades,” said Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball. “It’s important that we expose young people to the diverse career opportunities within the industry — particularly those that exist in their own neighborhood, here in Sunset Park.”
Chief of Staff and Director of Community Engagement at Industry City Cristal Rivera said the tours were “very successful.
“More than 200 students received a behind-the-scenes look at the diverse manufacturing industry at Industry City,” Rivera told this paper. “These students had the opportunity to also celebrate their neighborhood’s proud heritage as a working-class manufacturing hub as part of National Manufacturing Month.”
As part of the occasion, students received lunch from a local favorite, Johnny’s Pizzeria, as well as pencil cases and USB giveaways.
Since the program began, more than 1,000 students have toured the complex, said Rivera, “Exposing them to industries they may never get to see — right here in their backyard. We hope to continue to grow this program and see some of the students come back as interns, employees, or entrepreneurs at IC.
“There is more manufacturing space at Industry City now than at any other point in the last several decades,” she added, noting, “We wanted those businesses to be able to open their doors and connect with the future workforce to educate them on the industry and the jobs available within it.
“According to the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade, manufacturers will have to fill 4.6 million jobs — jobs that are high skill, high tech and high paying,” Rivera went on. “We saw this as a great opportunity for our manufacturers to share their stories with the community, while connecting them to the future workforce.”