OBI Manufacturing and Innovation Roadshow
OBI Manufacturing and Innovation Roadshow at Oregon Tech.

As part of the Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) Manufacturing and Innovation Roadshow, Oregon policymakers and community leaders visited the Oregon Institute of Technology on Aug. 11. The visit was in partnership with the Oregon Business Council and highlighted Oregon Tech’s impact on the manufacturing sector and workforce development.

OBI is Oregon's leading statewide business association, representing more than 1,600 businesses and industries in the state. On the 11-day tour, OBI traveled across the state to visit with leaders in Oregon’s growing manufacturing sector and to learn about the ways each business benefits Oregon and its economy.

“OBI’s Manufacturing Roadshow highlights the economic importance and diversity of Oregon’s manufacturing sector,” said OBI President & CEO Angela Wilhelms. “The Roadshow includes makers of wine and cheese, plastic pipe and rolled steel, sophisticated dental equipment and, of course, semiconductors. These companies differ in obvious ways, but all of them require well-trained employees who can help them innovate and grow. The Roadshow is visiting Oregon Tech to recognize its critical role in preparing Oregon’s students for technical and lucrative jobs in manufacturing and similar industries.”

Spencer Bradbrook displaying machinery in CEET
Spencer Bradbrook displaying machinery in CEET.

Oregon Tech’s manufacturing education and industry partnerships were highlighted with a tour of Oregon Tech’s renovated Cornett Hall and new Center for Excellence in Engineering and Technology (CEET), which features classrooms and laboratories for students to learn, collaborate, and experiment while immersed in a forward-thinking, entrepreneurial culture. Mechanical engineering junior Levi Hallock and 2021 alumni and machine shop manager Spencer Bradbrook answered questions about CEET and Oregon Tech’s programs during the tour.

Oregon Tech President Dr. Nagi Naganathan shared, “As Oregon's polytechnic university, we are committed to being industry's university where our graduates are ready for innovative professional careers on day one. Our partnership with OBI is vital in creating immersive professional opportunities for our students and faculty toward this mutually beneficial goal.”

The OBI tour also highlighted Oregon Tech during an Aug. 3 tour of the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center Research and Development (OMIC R&D). OMIC R&D is located in Scappoose in a facility owned and administered by Oregon Tech. It is a collaboration of national and international manufacturing companies and Oregon-based research universities that combine their knowledge, expertise, and resources to find innovative, applied solutions to the challenges facing manufacturing, while creating new opportunities for the future development of manufacturing.

After the Oregon Tech tour, OBI wrapped up at Wilsonart, a global manufacturer and distributor of high-pressure laminates and other engineered composite materials.