Project MFG competition is giving KC trade students an opportunity to shine


Photo courtesy Johnson County Community College

The best and brightest manufacturing trade professionals are competing to be the best tradespeople as a part of Project MFG. It is a Department of Defense Program partnered with Kansas City metro-based educators and industry partners to prepare students to enter the workforce.

These student welders, machinists, engineers, programmers, mechanics, and fabricators are tasked with demonstrating professional problem-solving abilities and technological talents. They have the opportunity to be matched with manufacturing industry employers through Project MFG’s collaborative partnership with local community leaders, educators, influencers, and manufacturing professionals.

Project MFG has three goals. The nonprofit wants to promote the prestige of manufacturing and related skills, accelerate manufacturing trade workforce training and education, and make the U.S. manufacturing industrial base to be a world leader.

“As we’ve seen with COVID when supply chains are disrupted, the U.S. needs the ability to make the goods we need, when we need them, and where we need them,” says Dr. Ray Dick, Project MFG Program Director.

The competition is a tournament-style event in which individuals compete against one another to complete the assigned project which has been developed by industry professionals to reflect the modern manufacturing environment.

Local welder, sculptor, and television personality Stretch is assisting with judging and mentoring at the competition. Stretch has been featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and is currently working on shows for Discovery Channel


Stretch (right) is assisting with judging and mentoring // Photo courtesy Johnson County Community College

and Animal Planet. He also participates in renovations on episodes of Bar Rescue.

The competition lasts three days at Johnson County Community College’s Welding, Construction, Machining Technology building. The competition started on February 22 and ends February 24.

Project MFG intends to drive results for other local communities and economies through 2021. For more information about Kansas City’s partnership with Project MFG, visit their website.

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