QC 8th graders get hands-on experience at John Deere on National Manufacturing Day

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - National Manufacturing Day on October 7 is the perfect day to introduce students to different careers in modern manufacturing.

John Deere Davenport Works hosted 55 Quad Cities area 8th graders, giving them a hands-on experience in the factory.

“I’m here to learn more about John Deere and learn about, like engineering.” John Deere Davenport Works hosted 55 8th grade students with interests in entering the workforce or vocational school after high school learned the ins and outs of how John Deere operates. National Manufacturing Day is the perfect day to inspire the students.

“8th grade isn’t too early to start getting interested in the trades and in manufacturing. We’ve got some awesome programs that, you know, as soon as they get into high school they can start taking welding classes and actually get in her into the factory and actually start welding themselves,” said Caroline Gerstle, Data Catalyst for John Deere Davenport Works. After a panel discussion with John Deere workers and a student apprentice, students got to explore hands-on activities, such as a virtual reality weld simulator, assembly lab and paint simulator.

“It helps me learn about the field I want to get into. It helps me learn about what process I need to go through, like what I need to be learning,” said Noah Altman. Since 2019, John Deere Davenport Works has had a high school registered apprentice program -- giving them real-life experience before heading out into the real world. David Mohr is one of those students in the program and shared his experience with the 8th graders.

“I started out just taking classes in high school and kind of fell in love with it once my teacher introduced it to me. And so I’ve been working on it ever since. It’s something I could see me growing and continuing with the company, and hopefully retiring,” said Mohr.