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Writing the book on careers in manufacturing

July 12, 2023
Written by: Molly

When Mary Jutzi joined Batesville Products Inc. (BPI) as a digital marketing associate in 2021, she knew the custom aluminum casting firm produced a variety of products for a number of industries. What she didn’t know was that she would contribute to something the 75-year-old firm had never produced: a children’s book.

Colorfully illustrated and written in rhyme, Foundry Friends Make a Casting explains to little ones what a foundry does. BPI’s Vice President of Marketing Tim Weber came up with the concept and tapped Mary to write a story that could engage kids and dispel negative perceptions of manufacturing.

Mary understands the negative perceptions. She thought, like many people do, that manufacturing was dark, dank and dangerous as depicted in popular media. She discovered it was quite the opposite when she took her first tour of a plant floor during college. “I walk in and it’s like the cleanest, brightest place I’ve ever been in,” she says. “It was a culture shock.”

A sort of split-brain kid who liked STEM subjects as well as graphic design and video editing, Mary graduated from East Central High School in St. Leon, Ind., and headed to Ball State University to study advertising and graphic design. But, as she dove deeper into the advertising curriculum she realized it wasn’t for her. “It was selling emotion and not a product,” she says. “That didn’t sit well with my logical side.”

A marketing internship at the manufacturing facility where her dad worked as a product manager pointed her in a new direction, and subsequent internships sealed the deal: Her future would be in manufacturing. When she left Ball State, she was surprised to find opportunities at BPI, a short distance from where she grew up and now lives with her husband of six months.

“When I was looking for careers, I didn’t even know BPI existed, let alone that they were 15 minutes from where I live,” she says.

To Mary, that is evidence of the problem: A lot of young people have no idea of the possibilities or the broad spectrum of skillsets in manufacturing, Mary says.

Mary Jutzi of Batesville Products

That’s why BPI produced a children’s book and Mary gives talks at elementary schools … why BPI has a “Kids” page on its website … why the company posts videos, podcasts and webinars on its website … and why Mary is dedicated to helping young people understand the rewarding and fun careers available in manufacturing.

“The two years I’ve been here have gone above and beyond my expectations,” she says. “Being able to write this children’s book, do community interactions and so on, it’s been a great experience.”

Mary Jutzi of Batesville Products

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