Everyone knows the importance of manufacturing to the economy and defense of America, and the impact it has on both. The industry is a pretty big deal and society gets that. But ask parents if they want their children in manufacturing positions and you’ll typically get a negative response. Unfortunately, they transfer that aversion to their children as well, which keeps our next generation of workers from seriously considering a career in manufacturing.
Manufacturing has been stereotyped by the days when it was dirtier, more dangerous, and often filled with workers who settled into their positions more out of necessity for employment than because it was a career choice. Young people today—our up-and-coming workforce—have parents or grandparents who have relayed their manufacturing experiences as it was in their day and now the younger generation believes that the industry is an unsavory career choice.
What they don’t see is that manufacturing is much different today. It has evolved in every aspect, from safety and production to technology and environmental consciousness. You know your manufacturing company is a great place to work. We know it, too. Your plant is clean and safe, with cutting edge technologies in place and a highly skilled workforce to manufacture your quality products. But it’s not enough that we know it. We have to change the views of our younger workforce, their parents, and our communities by educating them on today’s manufacturing. That’s where you come in.
We challenge manufacturers in Central Ohio to step up and get involved this October 7th for Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY). Help us remove the common misconceptions surrounding manufacturing by educating students and the community about today’s industry. Once they see that this is no longer their parents’ manufacturing—that it employs a great number of STEM specialists and that manufacturing engineers are the highest paid entry-level positions in the country—they will start to look at the industry as being a wise and long-term career choice. Manufacturing has opportunities for individuals with a wide range of skills and abilities; from entry level manufacturing and operator positions, to skilled CNC machine operators and trades, to professionals in engineering, quality, and supply chain management.
What is MFG DAY?
On the first Friday of every October, the nation celebrates the manufacturing industry with MFG DAY. This national day of recognition is sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), among others, and has been developed so manufacturers can “begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.” (Source: http://www.mfgday.com/about-us) In Ohio, it’s not just MFG DAY; our state traditionally declares all of October as Manufacturing Month!
What You Can Do
MFG DAY is the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to schedule events that will bring them face-to-face with parents, teachers, students and the community, enabling a more personal, informative, and direct interaction. You can show them the products you manufacture and the processes you use to produce them. Hosting an event for MFG DAY is also a great way to meet potential employees face-to-face.
By participating with your own event, you will not only reach your surrounding community; MFG DAY receives media exposure on both local and national levels. That means you have the potential of gaining valuable exposure with communities, customers and partners nationwide.
If you’re interested in doing what you can to improve the next generation of workers’ view about manufacturing but aren’t sure what to plan, consider these ideas:
- Host an “open house” to let the community know what you do, how you do it, and see the process in action
- Assist in science fairs or technology competitions in your area
- Participate in local career fairs
- Host a facility tour for students and educators
- Visit local schools and give presentations and host activities
Want more inspiration? Check out some of the events that other manufacturers did last year.
— OH!Manufacturing (@OHManufacturing) November 23, 2015
— Worthington Inds (@WorthingtonInds) November 5, 2015
Helpful Resources to Start Planning Today
Don’t have time to shoot a video or design a slideshow to help you with your MFG DAY event? The Resources section of the MFG DAY website has a number of already created resources such as these, including some facts and figures about manufacturing, to help you out.
If you’re planning on hosting a tour for students, don’t forget to visit the website of Ohio’s Dream It Do It chapter for resources such as the “Rock MFG DAY Kit”. Dream It Do It is part of the Manufacturing Institute’s national structure that was developed to change the misperceptions of manufacturing. It helps students, parents, and educators explore today’s advanced manufacturing industry.
Get Started Now
Summer is half over and October is quickly approaching. Some of your manufacturing peers such as Apeks Supercritical and RAMTEC Ohio Tri-Rivers Career Center have already registered their events on the MFG DAY website. Remember, in Ohio it’s not just October 7th; you can schedule your event for any day in October. You can even schedule it in September or November. If you’re feeling ambitious, why not go for scheduling two or three events? Because any day is a good one for promoting manufacturing!
Let us help!
If you need assistance with planning your event or want to find other ways to get involved, OH!Manufacturing can help. We can guide you to the people and resources you need to have an amazing event. And because we believe every day should be MFG DAY, we can assist you with planning events like this any time throughout the year. Contact us today!
Jill is a formally trained graphic and web designer and writer who has been employed as such for more than 18 years. Her experience includes long-term employment with a Columbus-based technology consulting firm that worked closely for years with the State and Federal government, and the Human Resources & Engagement Department of Honda North America. She manages both of PolymerOhio's websites, their social media, blog writing and editing of guest posts, and marketing materials.
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