2016 Manufacturing Day Set for October 5


ERIE – More than 2,000 students and educators and 1,000 business and community leaders are expected to attend the 2016 Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) celebration — one of the largest Manufacturing Day events in the country — from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 5, at the Bayfront Convention Center, 1 Sassafras Pier. All media are invited to attend.

“Our 2016 Manufacturing Day event will highlight the technology and many opportunities that are available in modern manufacturing,” said spokeswoman Tammy Polanski. “It will be a celebration unlike any other.”

This year’s event features more than 50 exciting exhibits, programs and demonstrations designed for participants to experience innovative manufacturing technology in a hands-on, interactive environment, as well as luncheon keynote speaker Easton LaChappelle. LaChappelle, whose appearance is presented by Howard Industries, is an inspirational inventor and founder and chief executive officer of Unlimited Tomorrow.

According to his biography, LaChappelle has been taking apart things since he was a child and is now changing industries. At 14, he made his first robotic hand out of LEGOs, fishing wire and electrical tubing. With his gradual improvement, the hand turned into an arm and advanced to a 3D-printed, brain-powered invention that he could operate with his mind.

After an encounter with a 7-year-old girl at a science fair whose prosthetic arm cost $80,000, LaChappelle was inspired to turn his prototype into a practical and affordable device. LaChappelle has traveled the world spreading the message that you can learn outside of the education system, including as a speaker at a TED talk. He’s worked at NASA on the Robonaut project developing a new telerobotic interface.

At 18, Easton founded his own company, Unlimited Tomorrow, which is developing a new concept of an exoskeleton to help paraplegics walk again. The company is also creating open source robotic arms that can be used from prosthetics to a robotics learning platform.

Unlimited Tomorrow’s philosophy is to keep the user first and to give extreme technology at an affordable price. With the robotic arm and hand being open source, it gives it a platform to naturally fall in the hands of people who need it.

The MFG Day event precedes the MBA’s 111th Annual Event with keynote speaker and “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec, starting later that day at 5 p.m. October 5.

Manufacturing Day plant tours for students, which are being coordinated by Career Street,, will be held on Friday, October 7, 2016 – the nationwide observance of Manufacturing Day. Contact Jennifer Pontzer at 814/464-8614 or email

In conjunction with TechFest, Manufacturing Day is presented by: the Manufacturer & Business Association, Erie Regional Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Diversified Manufacturing Industry Partnership, National Machining and Tooling Association, Career Street, and more than 25 area sponsors.

For more information or to register, visit