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Ashley Furniture holding virtual event to teach select schools about job opportunities
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Ashley Furniture holding virtual event to teach select schools about job opportunities

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Todd Wanek

Alumnus Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., delivers his Cabot Executive in Residence presentation Thursday, Oct. 26, in UW-Stout’s Memorial Student Center.

In honor of National Manufacturing Month, Ashley Furniture in Arcadia is holding an educational virtual event to teach area students of the various job opportunities within the company.

The virtual event is scheduled to take place in October, as the original in-person tours and events have been cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic.

A specific date has not been given as only select schools can attend.

This isn’t exclusive to just Arcadia, either, as students surrounding advanced-manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Mississippi are also invited to attend.

Some opportunities and lessons students will learn include operating a machine and designing furniture, as well as learning about the importance of manufacturing and the economic benefits of the industry.

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Ashley president and CEO Todd Wanek expressed in a release Thursday the importance of introducing children to various career opportunities.

“We are passionate about inspiring future creators by exposing them to the incredible career pathways that manufacturing offers,” Wanek said. “Manufacturing is a rapidly advancing industry and it needs our help to ensure the future are not left unfilled.”

Participating school districts in Wisconsin are Arcadia, Arcadia Holy Family, Blair-Taylor, Cochrane-Fountain City, Eleva-Strum, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Independence, Independence SSSP and Whitehall.

Ashley has had a number of partnerships with K-12—and post-secondary—schools over the past five years, which includes investing in STEM-based learning opportunities, scholarships, providing students with exposure to technical trades and career opportunities, instructor training and robotics programs.

As manufacturing continues to advance and the global economy evolves, Ashley said, training and educating the current and future workforce is a crucial part to the U.S.’s success.

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