(NIST: Rockford, IL) -- To highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs available in manufacturing fields, a group of public and private organizations announced the launch of Manufacturing Day for Oct. 5, 2012.
The effort is sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Wisconsin MEP (WMEP), and Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). The MEP is part of the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The sponsors invite additional associations and organizations supporting the manufacturing industry to join the program. Through open houses, public tours, career workshops, and other events held at participating facilities on Oct. 5, the sponsors hope to introduce as many people as possible to the important role played by manufacturing both in local communities and for the nation. The grassroots events will also introduce manufacturers to business improvement resources and services delivered through the MEP’s network of more than 400 affiliated centers across the country.
Studies by the Manufacturing Institute, which is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, our standard of living, and national security. Yet only 30 percent would encourage their children to go into manufacturing as a career.
With the gap growing each year between the skills students learn in school and those they will need on the job, it is increasingly difficult for manufacturers to find and hire qualified employees. By promoting Manufacturing Day, manufacturing associations and other organizations led by NIST MEP centers and the FMA said they want to remove some of the myths surrounding manufacturing. For example, manufacturing is a solid, long-term career choice for qualified candidates—including the young people who will form the workforce of tomorrow, and it is a vital part of our economy.
“Manufacturing Day will be the ‘coming out party’ for U.S. manufacturers all across the nation,” says Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the FMA. “October 5th is dedicated to celebrating the great work and innovation of the 12 million men and women who make the United States the world’s largest manufacturing economy. FMA and MEP centers are encouraging their members and manufacturers to open their doors to their local school kids, community college students, press, and job seekers so that they can see firsthand the safe, high-tech, and innovative work environments that await the best and brightest who pursue careers in manufacturing.”
“Manufacturing is a crucial part of the national economy,” says Buckley Brinkman, executive director and CEO of the WMEP. “It drives value creation, innovation, and employment throughout the country, and we want to show our communities the opportunities available in manufacturing today. Our future depends on our ability to strengthen and advance this vital sector, and Manufacturing Day can accelerate that process.”
“We hope that every manufacturing organization—local, regional, and national—will encourage its members to embrace the concept of Manufacturing Day and conduct an open house for the community,” says Dave Barber, chairman of the FMA board of directors and president of The Wilmington Grill Co. in Wilmington, North Carolina. “And we hope the organizations themselves will encourage the media to report on these events so that thousands of people will visit local manufacturers and learn what really goes on in America’s industrial parks. It is particularly important that educators and parents avail themselves of this opportunity to visit local employers with children—particularly those in middle school and junior high—to introduce them to the career opportunities that exist for those who are prepared with appropriate science and math skills.”
“Setting aside October 5th as Manufacturing Day to promote the gains we’ve seen in manufacturing is a great initiative,” adds Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), co-chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus. “The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are playing no small part in the resurgence of manufacturing—and I commend them for their hard work.”
“As co-founder of the House Manufacturing Caucus, I have long championed the need to maintain our competitive edge in all manufacturing industries,” says Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL). “I encourage all manufacturers to reach out and invite their members of congress to visit their facility on October 5th for a tour and a chance to meet their constituents. Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to do this.”
To learn more about Manufacturing Day, log on to www.mfgday.com or call (888) 394-4362. Organizations that wish to become involved as official sponsors of this program should call (888) 394–4362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.