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The Official Baldrige Blog

Manufacturing Day Offers Face-to-Face and Virtual Opportunities for Workforce of the Future

MFG Day - Attend an MFG Day Event! #MFGDay21

Creators Are Wanted to Build the Workforce of the Future—Now.

U.S. manufacturers need to fill 4 million jobs by 2030, according to a workforce study by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. More than half of those jobs could be left unfilled because of two issues: a skills gap and misperceptions about modern manufacturing, states the report. The "Creators Wanted" theme for Manufacturing Day 2021 encourages U.S. manufacturers to open their doors to students and to help the general public learn more about available opportunities and overcome misperceptions.

Each year, Manufacturing Day starts on the first Friday in October, with manufacturers showcasing their plant floors, factories, and products to teach students, parents, and the public about modern manufacturing. According to its website, Manufacturing Day “helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors. . . . MFG Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.”

What’s especially unique about 2021 is the number of virtual, as well as live, Manufacturing Day events available, including facility tours, open houses, manufacturing community events, educational fairs, job fairs, expos, presentations to students, and roundtable discussions. Events can be searched by city, state, zip code, virtual offering, or organization.

Baldrige in Manufacturing

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, 2012 Baldrige Award Recipient. Select photo to view all Baldrige Award recipients in manufacturing.

The Baldrige Program began in 1987 to support U.S. manufacturers in being competitive in a global market. Its Baldrige Excellence Framework and Criteria have adapted with the changing times and can be especially helpful for the challenges of today’s manufacturers, especially in terms of considerations for

  • Strategy and Resilience
    Criteria category 2 focuses on strategy, and self-assessment tools help organizations pinpoint operational gaps and opportunities;
  • Operational Effectiveness and the Value of External Recognition
    The national Baldrige Program, along with Baldrige-based state and regional programs that are members of the nonprofit Alliance for Performance Excellenceoffers manufacturers feedback on all areas of operational effectiveness and provide mechanisms for organizations to be recognized for high performance in the state, region, and nation, which may aid manufacturers in acquiring and retaining contracts, grants, and customers;

  • Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, 2010 Baldrige Award Recipient. Select photo to view all Baldrige Award recipients in manufacturing.
    Digitization and Industry 4.0 
    Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder is a self-assessment tool to help organizations better understand the effectiveness of cybersecurity risk management efforts and to identity improvement opportunities; it is aligned with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework;
  • Supplier Management
    The comprehensive Baldrige framework and shorter Baldrige Excellence Builder offer in-depth assessment questions related to suppliers that could impact an organization’s leadership, measurement, outsourcing, cybersecurity, and results; and

  • Workforce Issues
    The Baldrige framework has been used by organizations to strengthen organizational cultures, handle mergers/acquisitions, and build workforce engagement and retention.

Baldrige sustains and maintains a succession of learning—a model to stay out front of constant change. It helps an organization to reset if its processes are not as efficient as they should be.

James E. Berry, President, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, 2012 Baldrige Award recipient

Our business has grown exponentially over the last 20 years and that growth coincides almost perfectly with our Baldrige journey. We’ve maintained an average growth rate of almost 10%. So, for anyone, who is wondering whether the Baldrige process is worth the time or money, I’d offer this. . . . we were on a path of growth before we started practicing Baldrige, but that growth line shifted exponentially after we started.

Terry May, President and Founder, MESA, 2020, 2012, 2006 Baldrige Award Recipient

Careers in Manufacturing

Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled. Source: Estimated from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.
Credit: Manufacturing Institute

A hope of manufacturers participating in Manufacturing Day events is to spark the interest of people searching for new careers in manufacturing, especially given the industry's changing nature due to advanced manufacturing technologies and other innovations. The Creators Wanted campaign aims to reduce the skills gap in the U.S. by 600,000 workers by 2025, increase the number of students enrolling in technical/vocational schools by 25%, and re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education.

Manufacturing Day is an initiative of The Manufacturing Institute, and the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association is a founding partner. The National Association of Manufacturers, together with The Manufacturing Institute, have launched the Creators Wanted campaign, the only national effort to build the modern manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.

2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit feature image

Baldrige Excellence Framework

The Baldrige Excellence Framework has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. It includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

Purchase your copy today!

Available versions: Business/Nonprofit, Education, and Health Care

About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience, 18 years at the Baldrige Program. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.

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