The seventh annual Manufacturing Day was a resounding success in California! MFG DAY continues to draw more and more participants each year, and 2018 was no exception, with nearly 2,800 events held across the country. In the Golden State, which boasts the nation’s largest manufacturing sector, it was all hands on deck in celebration of MFG DAY; over 250 sites registered as event hosts and an additional 330+ manufacturers and support organizations, including schools, stakeholders, and other organizations, participated in or sponsored events throughout the month of October.
For those not in the know, here’s a brief recap of what MFG DAY is all about. For everyone else, feel free to skip to the next section for the inside scoop on a handful of MFG DAY events that went on in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Riverside.
What is MFG DAY?
An annual celebration occurring on the first Friday in October each year, MFG DAY has been giving small and medium-sized manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their products and capabilities to students, educators, businesspeople, politicians, and the media since its inception in 2012.
MFG DAY also helps to dispel misconceptions about manufacturing—that all work is “dark, dirty, and dangerous”—in order to recruit the next generation of skilled workers. And, with manufacturing facilities losing large number of workers to retirement in the coming years, this is absolutely crucial for the continued success of the industry.
Good news: it’s working! A Deloitte survey of nearly 270,000 students participating in previous MFG DAY events revealed that:
89% became more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities
84% became more convinced that manufacturing provides rewarding career
64% became more motivated to pursue careers in manufacturing
Stories from MFG DAY 2018
Los Angeles County
Over 50 manufacturers participated at events across 22 locations. This year, an exciting new youth perspective was presented by STREAM Kids Expo. Standing for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Manufacturing—disciplines believed to be vital for success in the 21st century—STREAM aims to bridge the gap between today's education and future career opportunities by listening to kids’ interests and building unique, interactive learning experiences around them. The STREAM event, held at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita Valley, invited parents, students, and the public to attend a speaker panel led by James McKinney of Google’s Startup Grind on the skills and characteristics manufacturing technology employers are seeking today. Displays and activities highlighted opportunities in design, engineering, fabrication, robotics, and distribution.
Now in its fourth year, Manufacture Your Future events, hosted by Congressman Tony Cárdenas, were held at L.A. Valley College, L.A. Mission College, and Spectrolab. A partnership between the Arconic Foundation and Discovery Education, Manufacture Your Future provides 3rd-12th grade educators, administrators, school counselors, and families with everything they need to inspire the next generation of manufacturing leaders and innovators using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts. In addition to Cárdenas, California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian also spoke with 1,000 students and 30 exhibitors at the events.
Over 25 small manufacturers, community colleges, and universities took part in hosting events with over 1,100 students attending from throughout Orange County. Anaheim-based Reborn Cabinets’ event included a facility tour, job fair, and presentation by California State Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva. You can watch a recap of Reborn Cabinets’ MFG DAY story on YouTube.
Prototype & Short-Run Services, Inc. also hosted several groups of students for MFG DAY 2018. Owner Jack McDevitt and several tool and die engineers fielded questions and gave a tour of the building to high school students. SCHMIDT Technology was also on-site to showcase the SCHMIDT ExPress On-Site Demo bus. Putting the customer first, SCHMIDT’s souped-up “bus” is a traveling showroom that comes to any premise by appointment, allowing people to view and experience the company’s innovative writing instrument technologies, presses, and sensors.
Not to be outdone, the North Orange County Community College District turned MFG DAY into MFG WEEK, organizing five days of events in which students from over 30 high schools and colleges visited local small and medium-sized manufacturers within the district.
With over 70 years of experience under their belt, Brenner-Fiedler, a leading automation and pneumatic solutions provider dedicated to improving technology, efficiency, quality, and safety for OEMs, hosted a MFG DAY event that included a facility tour, presentations, and even some interactive games. The event gave attendees the opportunity to see manufacturing in action—from panel building to robot planning.
Across town in Menifee—one of the fastest growing cities nestled in the heart of Southwest Riverside County—the inaugural Menifee Makes event was being held (if you’re on Twitter, you can see some of their updates prior to and during the event at #MenifeeMakes). The event attracted over 200 students from the Menifee region as well as students from Santa Rosa Academy and Mt. San Jacinto College where they learned about robotics, automation, smart manufacturing, and additive manufacturing.
These are just a few of the thousands of stories to come out of MFG DAY 2018. Congratulations to everyone who participated and helped to inspire the next generation of talent (for the full story, photos from the events, and a complete list of California participants, click here). What’s next? Well, some manufacturers make MFG DAY a year-round event, while others are already making plans for MFG DAY 2019; we’ll keep you informed on planning and progress for the event as the new year unfolds. In the meantime, if you have an inspiring MFG DAY story of your own, please share it with everyone in the comments below!