Today is Manufacturing Day! It is a celebration of modern manufacturing designed to inspire students to enquire about and pursue careers in manufacturing. Events take place across the nation highlighting the manufacturing industry including demonstrations on the latest technology, products, and much more. Some manufacturers and students can’t make it on a Friday, so they may choose another day in this or any other month.
What is Manufacturing Day?
Manufacturing Day brings together manufacturers and mixed generations of those interested in it. This one day is aimed to connect as many schools and manufacturers as possible. Manufacturing Day events can be an expo, a tour of a facility, an open house, a virtual or actual presentation or even an “industrial block party”. These events can be held for students, parents, chamber members or the community.
Why Manufacturing Day is Important
This day is intended to open students’ eyes about manufacturing and plant the seed that it can be a career for them. Although there is one day set aside for this celebration it can be any day that is convenient for everyone. There are many career fairs throughout the year with a focus on the manufacturing sector. We’ve participated in many career fairs on Manufacturing Day and all through the year.
These types of fairs and expos allow students to explore their career goals from a broader perspective. Often be when asked what they want be when they grow up young girls respond with hair, nails, or be a pediatrician. Now they are asked to consider a career in manufacturing. We want to try to help them see past stereotypical “serving” jobs and focus on careers with benefits.
What You Can Learn on Manufacturing Day
There is so much to be learned, but probably at the top of most young people’s minds is, “what are the salary ranges and benefits in various manufacturing careers?” Beyond that important question, students can also learn about the latest manufacturing technology. In some events, attendees are allowed to visit a manufacturing center where they can see a demonstration of the type of equipment used, such as robots, welding, 3D printing, and attend workshops on topics such as Lean Manufacturing. Each workshop allows students to get hands on experience, such as safety allows.
There are many events across the nation on this day. For instance, Alabama Technology Network and Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham will host their 3rd annual “Hard Hats & High Heels” event, in which girls get to observe and interact with manufacturing equipment and converse with a panel of women in manufacturing. “Hard Hats & High Heels” has limited seats so invitations were sent to high school girls in the area, and the first 50 to reply were the ones that got a spot. This event is scheduled for Friday, October 13th on Jefferson State Jefferson Campus.
Of course, we love to attend manufacturing events all through the year!
Our Hope for Manufacturing Day
We hope this day sparks valuable dialogue and enthusiasm for the opportunities that exist in manufacturing! Specific to young ladies, we hope they walk away with a completely different take on the opportunities that exist in the various manufacturing industries.
I love the goals related to the spirit of increasing career choices in manufacturing, from the MFG Day website:
(Because many in manufacturing are retiring, we want to bring in new thinking with a new generation.)
2. Change public’s perception of manufacturing
(People think it’s dark, dirty, and unsafe, which is not true. There are a lot of things students can do without coming into contact with machines.)
3. Introduction to careers
(Great for all.)
4. Draw attention to manufacturer’s role in the community
“They sponsor many events in their areas without the community knowing it. These businesses are donating to 5K runs, football teams, and much more. The community should at least know what they do in that regard.”
5. Highlight the significance of manufacturing
(There isn’t anything in this world that you touch that doesn’t go through manufacturing first. Now THAT’s significant!)
If you’re interested in evaluating the success of Manufacturing Day, there’s an infographic on http://www.mfgday.com/ that shows the amazing number of events, attendees, and more.