Medtronic’s facilities in Juncos served as the stage to kick off Manufacturing Week 2019, an annual event organized by the Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension (PRiMEX) with support from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co, and the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association.
The events will take place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 4 under the theme “Developing the industry of the future.”
“To continue developing and strengthening the industrial sector on the island, it is essential to maintain the five pillars as a foundation: quality, innovation, technology, competitiveness and talent,” said Félix Negrón, vice president of operations of Medtronic Puerto Rico.
“It is important that during this week that the manufacturers are opening their doors to the future generation of young talent, to inject the recipe of how to retain them to grow and develop this sector in the economy,” he said.
“Students represent the main pillar, talent, and it is our responsibility to insert ourselves into that professional development. It is time to educate talent about the past, how is the present and how we project the future of manufacturing in the island. How do we grow with their creativity, skills and the new technological tools are key to this sector’s future.” said Negrón.
The events include tours to nine manufacturing firms throughout the island, dedicated to the medical devices, beverage and food, metal, biotechnology and electronics sectors. In addition, a series of talks will be offered at major universities, focused on manufacturing in areas such as agro-processing, electronics, food, and medical devices.
“Manufacturing Week features a series of educational activities in recognition of the value and contribution of this industry to the island’s economy that represents 57% of the adjusted gross income,” Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy said.
“As part of our commitment to economic development, we provide full support this sector that currently provides about 74,500 direct jobs. To improve the investment climate, we work with the implementation of the Incentives Code to attract more companies in various industries to be contribute to the island’s economic development by generating new jobs and creating a positive impact to different sectors,” he said.
Manufacturing Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October of each year throughout the United States at the initiative of former President Barack Obama. Its purpose is to promote innovation, achieve the interest of new and current generations in the field, learn about best business practices, facilitate experts in the nerve areas of the industry, promote the acquisition of knowledge and experience, and develop new manufacturing trends toward the future.
“For the second year in a row, the government, private and nonprofit sector join to celebrate the week of manufacturing in style, highlighting the breadth and impact that the industrial sector has,” PRiMEX Executive Director Migdalia Rosado said.
“We also guide and insert the island’s young people with the industries, so that they have a real and direct experience in the manufacturing plants. This year more than 1,000 students will benefit from this effort,” she said.
Some of the manufacturers hosting university students to tour their facilities are: Medtronic, Stryker, Baxter, Sartorious Stedim, Serrallés Distillery, Valero Inc., and Amphenol, among others.
The closing event and awards ceremony will be held Oct. 4, when PRiMEX will recognize excellence of small and medium manufacturers under the following categories; Business Growth, Continuous Improvement, Technology Acceleration, Quality, Workforce Development, Sustainability, Start-up and Manufacturing Excellence.
PRMA President Carlos Rodríguez said “the PRMA has supported this initiative over the years and once again we join forces with PRIMEX and other organizations to highlight the impact of manufacturing on the lives of all Puerto Ricans.”