Murrieta hosts high school students for ‘Manufacturing Day’

Students watch as a Waterstone Faucets employee describes various types of finishes for the faucets the company produces. Will Fritz photo

Murrieta high school students spend the morning at two manufacturing facilities and hear a panel discussion about local manufacturing jobs at Murrieta’s business incubator for the city’s Manufacturing Day event Friday, Oct. 5.

About 100 students from Murrieta Valley High School toured Cryoquip – which produces cryogenic vaporizers and industrial gas equipment – as well as Waterstone Faucets, both of which operate in the industrial district in southwest Murrieta. 

While touring both manufacturing facilities, students split up into smaller groups and saw how workers at all points of the production process were doing their jobs.

At the panel, professionals with local manufacturers stressed that the industry has changed over the last 20 years – for one, there are more industrial jobs in the Temecula Valley.

“We feel it is important to expose you to what is happening,” Michael Vargas with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting said. “We all have parents who work in Orange County or in San Diego County, and we see the difficulty with the traffic situation and we thought it was relevant to introduce you to some companies that are here locally.”

And while there are jobs locally that doesn’t mean all the work is done locally.

“One of the things I want to stress in manufacturing is you saw our facility today, but as a worker in manufacturing, you’re not necessarily going to be working at any one location,” Patrick Billman, vice president of Cryoquip, told students. “My engineers are working on projects with my facility in china as much as they might be working on a project with facilities in Mexico or in the U.K.”

Dylan Bow, a senior at Murrieta Valley High School, said the tours were interesting, and he learned a lot. It is the second time he’s participated in Manufacturing Day, including a trip to Cryoquip.

 “We got to see the change over the year, so we got to see what Cryoquip was up to and how their ground changed within a year,” Bow said.

Valerie Backus, Career and Technical Education coordinator for Murrieta Valley Unified School District, said the Manufacturing Day event is now in its third year, and the district is trying to get more variety in the types of facilities the students tour.

It was the first year Waterstone Faucets has been part of the event, she said.

“Cryoquip has been very active with our district, they are the ones that we’ve kind of been going to, and now I’m trying to make sure that we spread the wealth, spread the information so that it’s not the kids just going to Cryoquip again and again,” Backus said. “We reach out to Murrieta manufacturers first because we are in MVUSD, but Temecula – the region has a really good collection of manufacturers.”

The goal of the event, she said, is to make sure students going into manufacturing or engineering fields are able to get all of the information they need to move into the workforce, whether they intend to go to college or get a job straight out of high school.

“This is meeting 100% of the kids’ needs who are going to get a career,” she said. “So if that means they’re going straight into the workforce, we’ve got jobs for you. That means if they’re going straight to (community college), we’ve got jobs for you.”

Backus thanked the city, the Murrieta-Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and the business that participated in the event for making everything possible. 

Will Fritz can be reached by email at