On March 7th, nine students (grades 10, 11, 12) from Johannesburg-Lewiston Area Schools and 27 students (grades 8 and 12) from Atlanta Community Schools toured HB Carbide in Lewiston, MI.
H.B. Carbide manufactures tungsten carbide blanks for a variety of applications and industries. Their main products are used for cutting tools, bushings, dies, punches, etc. and can be found in industries such as automotive, aerospace, small engine, heavy equipment, medical equipment, and gun manufacturing. They employ 133 people and typical wages (after 1 year) are around $19/hr. They do business with companies in 47 states and 30 countries.
During the tour, students were able to hold and touch a couple pieces of carbide in-process, finished product and a container with the powder in it that starts the process. They were able to see an unfinished product right next to a finished product for comparison in size different, watch a robotic arm move items, and see the shipping, receiving, quality assurance, CNC, product room, and more.
Presenters from H.B. Carbide discussed what career pathways looked like in the manufacturing world and what you can do with a high school diploma up to a bachelor’s degree. At the end of the tour, H.B. Carbide gave hats, water bottles, and cookies to the students.
Student feedback was very positive stating they enjoyed learning about the different types of carbide and seeing how the CNC machines, 3D printer, and robot worked. They were surprised to learn that all of the end product tools initially started from just powder.
Michigan Works! Youth Career Advisors, Allison Oakes and Seth Gruenberg, discussed career pathways in Manufacturing and the Career Pathfinder online tool.