By Zara Brunner and Mark Schmit
In case you missed it (ICYMI), we’re sharing some of the stories discovered this past month as we’ve been sifting through the goodness that’s come out of Manufacturing Day (#MFGDay14) on 10.3.14. In fact, as we write this there are still celebrations going on. Some folks chose to hold events on a different day that was more convenient for their plant/community, and others may have decided to make it Manufacturing Month in their states.
As we were all celebrating at one (or a handful) of events on Manufacturing Day, it can be easy to miss what happened around the country. Our day was spent listening to President Obama deliver remarks at Millenium Steel in Princeton, Indiana. And while we knew that it was such an honor to have the leader of our country participate in Manufacturing Day, we also knew it was just one event that happened that day. We didn’t want to miss out on what else was happening around the country so we’ve spent time learning just what took place – and “wow” is what we have to say about that!
This initiative produced so many benefits at the individual, local, and national level. It’s no small task to capture the spirit and impact of what happened. How do you do that with a grassroots movement, after all? One thing is for certain: Manufacturing Day is – and always will be - a success because people, companies, and communities believe in the cause. They know that what we’re collectively trying to do is create widespread change in public perceptions and improve the image of manufacturing AND to raise awareness about the careers the industry offers. People are passionate. There’s a sense of urgency to make sure the public and our community leaders understand the importance of manufacturing and ensure that the next generation of workers are still making things here in the U.S.
For the third year in a row, Manufacturing Day exceeded expectations. Below is a high-level roll-up of some national numbers to help illustrate what we’re talking about.
And most recently, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee, comprised of industry and academic leaders around the country, recommended to the President that Manufacturing Day be supported as a way to secure the talent pipeline and improve the image of manufacturing (see the full report here).
So what else did this grassroots movement result in? Looking at some of the stories from local communities, Manufacturing Day sparked interest in careers, helped correct misconceptions about the industry, was a celebration of the workforce, and contributed to countless community initiatives lasting beyond the day.
We’ll be drafting future blog posts on these topics between now and the next Manufacturing Day (Save the Date: October 2, 2015). In the meantime, let others know what they may have missed and share your story here.