This year’s Manufacturing Day is designed to celebrate and inspire future manufacturers by opening doors and minds. In the past, stereotyping manufacturing as a "dirty job" has made manufacturing careers unattractive to young and future workers. The indifference of young workers has created a skills gap that is predicted by Deloitte to leave about 2 million skilled manufacturing jobs unfilled by 2025 if nothing is done now.
In an effort to change this and foster a positive perception of manufacturing in the next generation, California manufacturers are partnering with middle and high schools to provide first-hand learning experiences for students.
Manufacturing Day 2017 happens on October 6, and will continue to prove that the industry isn’t a "dirty, dangerous, and dull" job by encouraging the participation of educators, students, young workers, government, and communities to see for themselves. Open houses, public tours, exhibits, panel discussions, career fairs, and a lot more await participants.
Just like all past celebrations, Manufacturing Day 2017 promises to show modern manufacturing in action to inspire the next generation of skilled workers. The annual activity aims to further cultivate a positive perception of manufacturing among students and young workers, both major sources of talent.
With manufacturers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico consistently participating in the celebrations, Manufacturing Day infographics show that event growth rose by more than 1,000% from 240 events in 2012 to 2,807 in 2016.
The number of participants attending the 2016 activities was estimated at 595,341, including 267,607 students. Reception by students has greatly improved, which signifies a positive sign that they may be weighing their options for a manufacturing career.
In a survey of students participating during that year, Deloitte found that of those surveyed:
- 89% became more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities
- 84% believed that manufacturing provides rewarding and interesting careers
- 64% were inspired to pursue manufacturing careers
- 71% would spread the good news about manufacturing to family, friends, and acquaintances
The Deloitte figures are positive indications that manufacturing is winning the hearts and minds of potential workers.
Educating the next generation of workers
An effective way to educate the next generation of workers is by supporting #MFGDAY2017 and the events in the years to come.
For hosts, manufacturing day is your opportunity to share your company's success story, forge business relationships, inspire new entrants into the industry, and learn ways to improve workforce skills. At the same time, you advertise your company to students and next generation workers as a favorable environment to build a successful career.
For students and parents, you get to explore an array of manufacturing career options. You will come to know that manufacturing isn't just about assembly line jobs, but also opportunities in IT, engineering, marketing, sales, and more. You will also learn that many companies offer scholarships and other funding opportunities for a career in manufacturing or a special course for a specific skill set.
For educators, getting involved in Manufacturing Day gives you access to educational resources to help prepare your students for future manufacturing careers.
Manufacturing Day organizers offer a helpful guide titled "An Introduction to Manufacturing" designed for students in Grades 6-12. Teachers can also organize field trips to local manufacturers. Where manufacturing plants are not locally available, you can visit links to virtual field trips, such as those of Alcoa plants, where students will get to see what it's like to be inside a manufacturing plant without physically visiting one.
Preparing for Manufacturing Day 2017
Manufacturers and interested community organizations need to plan Manufacturing Day 2017 events that work best for them. A good starting point is conducting marketing campaigns to reach out to fellow manufacturers, partners, junior and middle schools, vocational schools, and city, county, and state officials. The outreach efforts can be done through phone calls, emails, social media forums, blogs, newsletters, and in-person meetings.
It is also important that manufacturers register their events at the Manufacturing Day website to take advantage of the wealth of resources for hosts. The resources come in the form of planning guides and tool kits, open house tips, media guides and kits, links to informative webinars, infographics, logo and banner design, and answers to FAQs.
With Manufacturing Day 2017 only a couple of months away, manufacturers are rolling up their sleeves to showcase the success and liveliness of modern manufacturing. If you're a first-time participant or a perennial supporter who wants to get updates, find out who’s participating here in California, and be sure to use the hashtag #MFGDAY17 to continue the discussion on social media.