Hundreds of manufacturers around the country will open their doors to the public on October 6 for Manufacturing Day. The annual event has grown to be an important tool for the industry to showcase itself to the workforce.
Manufacturing Day was started in 2012 by the National Association of Manufacturers and celebrates modern manufacturing in a collected offer that brings together students, teachers, media and business leaders to educate the country about the industry. NAM said Manufacturing Day aims to empower manufacturers, change public perception about the industry, highlight its economic impacts, and introduce more people to available career opportunities.
Last year’s event attracted nearly 600,000 people, including more than 260,000 students. Deloitte conducted a follow up survey of students who participated and found that 84 percent said there were more manufacturers providing interesting and rewarding careers. More than 60 percent said they were motivated to pursue careers in the industry, while 71 percent said they were more likely to tell friends, family, parents and colleagues about the event.
Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, said Manufacturing Day offers a unique opportunity for manufacturers to show their community and future employees the opportunity for innovative and high-paying careers in the industry. “It’s exciting to see what a powerful impact these events had on the public’s perception of the manufacturing economy and the meaningful careers that exist in our industry,” Timmons said.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, told the Detroit Free Press that Manufacturing Day has become an important component of the company’s efforts to address its growing talent needs. Barra said technology will create more changes in the auto industry in the next five years than it has in the past 50 years. As baby boomers continue to retire, the workforce will need to rely more on younger workers.
“It’s my hope more students joint us in the technical fields required to lead the future of mobility,” Barra said.
Andra Rush, chairman of the Rush Group of Companies told the Free Press that the events aim to educate not only students themselves, but also inform parents that manufacturing is not the dirty, dangerous and dull work it used to be. “Manufacturing Day gives us a way to reach schoolchildren, parents and educators through manufacturing experiences to shift perceptions,” Rush said.
Cooper Tire plays a big role in Manufacturing Day and says it has connected with more than 30,000 students through the events. The company said in a press release that it will host hands-on interactive events at a number of its facilities throughout October. Interactive stations will demonstrate things like procurement, mixing and finishing, tire design, equipment design, maintenance and logistics.
“Cooper is working to attract students to manufacturing careers by giving young people hands-on experience that mimics what it’s like to work in the tire industry,” said John Bollman, Cooper’s Senior vice President and Chief of Human Resources.
Manufacturing Day has a complete listing of events on its website.