Manufacturing Day celebrates modern manufacturing and is intended to inform and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
As manufacturers struggle to find skilled workers to fill existing position openings, we know that the gap will only continue to grow as the baby boomers exit the workforce. By 2025, nearly 25 percent of the United States population is expected to be aged 60 or older, meaning many manufacturing workers will be leaving the factory floor.
Although new technologies have significantly improved manufacturing processes, the industry is still often perceived to be made up of jobs that are low paying, dirty, repetitive and potentially dangerous. This makes changing the perception of and attracting the next generation of workers critical to ensuring the industry remains strong.
One tactic that has been put into place to combat the next generation’s misperception about the manufacturing industry is Manufacturing Day. Since 2012, Manufacturing Day has been held on the first Friday of every October. Manufacturing Day was officially celebrated on October 5th this year. However, Manufacturing Day events are taking place throughout the month of October.
In Kansas, at least 32 Manufacturing Day events have been scheduled to take place in the month of October. Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center (MAMTC) attended a few of these events to support the great manufacturers inspiring the students in their communities.
“We are all working under the common goals of changing the perception of manufacturing, inspiring students to enter the manufacturing workforce by exciting them about the training and job opportunities in manufacturing.” said Tiffany Stovall, CEO of MAMTC, referring to manufacturers, schools and community and state organizations, such as the Kansas Chamber and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Here are a few manufacturers who celebrated Manufacturing Day on October 5th.
Broce Manufacturing – www.brocebroom.com/
Broce Manufacturing is the leading producer of construction and industrial style street sweepers and brooms. Founded in 1963 in Dodge City, Kansas, they have been serving the construction industry with a superior product for over 50 years as a family owned business. Check out their Facebook page for more pictures of their event and a video. www.facebook.com/brocebroom
Power Flame – www.powerflame.com
An innovative and forward-thinking force in the commercial combustion equipment industry, Power Flame Incorporated, located in Parsons, KS, manufactures gas, oil, combination gas/oil, low NOx burners and combustion control systems. Students from Parsons Middle School and Service Valley Charter Academy participated.
Grasshopper – www.grasshoppermower.com
A family-owned business with more than 50 years of manufacturing experience, The Grasshopper Company in Moundridge, KS, has specialized in manufacturing True ZeroTurn™ riding rotary mowers since 1970. They took some time to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
WSU Tech – www.wsutech.edu
Over 230 high school students participated in WSU Tech’s annual event celebrating National Manufacturing Day. WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) has been delivering excellence in education since 1965. Students spent 4 hours on the campus going through a series of sessions that exposed them to different elements of manufacturing. See this video for some student perspectives: www.facebook.com/wsutech.official
Students who have attended Manufacturing Day events were asked to participate in a survey administered by Deloitte.
- 89% were more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities
- 84% were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding
- 64% were more motivated to pursue careers in manufacturing
- 71% are more likely to tell friends, family, parents or colleagues about manufacturing after attending an event.
When students and parents experience modern manufacturing firsthand, their attitudes and opinions about our industry change for the better.