Ida S. Baker students gain industry experience at S4J Manufacturing Services

Teens who had never considered a manufacturing career before walking in the doors of S4J Manufacturing Services on Friday, Oct. 2 as part of Southwest Florida Regional Manufacturers Association’s (SRMA’s) Manufacturing celebration may now have a different view. Along with exploring the plant’s machinery, learning the chemistry involved with electroless nickel plating and discovering the attributes of various metals, students received encouragement to be flexible with their career plans.

Promoting manufacturing as an often-underappreciated source of steady employment and career satisfaction is the purpose of Manufacturing Day, and SRMA paired high schools and manufacturer members across Southwest Florida. The Ida S. Baker students were introduced to the departments and roles at S4J that work together to build on the company’s 50-year longevity, including business development, human resources, regulatory affairs, quality assurance and customer service. The students also enjoyed learning the story behind the successful family owned business, which owes its existence to owner Doug Gyure’s father being flexible along the path to his own career.

S4J primarily produces specialty connectors and custom manufactured components for use in medical equipment. The students became familiar with the types of equipment that depend on them, which they might see in the hospital, for instance, without noticing the components themselves.

The teens also learned about four different types of raw material handled at S4J: brass, stainless steel, aluminum and titanium. The company demonstrated how it recycles metal chips formed in the production process and works to retrieve the cutting oils that cling to those chips. From there, students enjoyed a lesson on the Computer Numerical Control machines that enable S4J to perform its precision turning. Students also watched a robot feed product in another application. After enjoying a hands-on challenge to find the one product in a batch of 30 parts that matched the drawing on their clipboards, and some other fun exercises involving measuring and inspecting, the students finished their visit at S4J with a pizza party.

Gyure said, “The students were interested, engaged and eager to learn of careers that they never knew existed. “ He added, “I don’t expect that every student who comes through will want to become a manufacturer, all I need to know is that I opened a few minds to the myriad of opportunities within the manufacturing environment.”

Manufacturing Day is a national day of celebrating modern manufacturing that is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The purpose of SRMA is to bring together manufacturers to encourage the economic development of Southwest Florida through manufacturing, and to act as a forum for the expression and exchange of ideas and information among its members. Learn more at srma.net

S4J Manufacturing Services, Inc.
Established in 1965, S4J Manufacturing Services is a second-generation, family-owned company specializing in the production of ultra precision components, reusable Luer Lock connectors, Quick Connects and miscellaneous adapters. Its more than 1,000 customer companies worldwide are typically original equipment manufacturers (OEM) of medical equipment and devices for biomedical and laboratory applications. Nearly 50-percent of S4J’s operations are devoted to custom parts and assemblies. Designs for custom parts are treated as confidential material. Upon relocating to Cape Coral in 1999, its new facility was designed around the product lines it manufactures, complete with the ability to finish in-house its brass components, which are electroless nickel plated. The result is a dedicated facility for the manufacture of fittings from bar stock to completed, ready to ship components. S4J is an ISO 9001 registered company. Visit www.s4jmfg.com or call (888) 745-5837 for more information.