July 9, 2012
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 has announced the launch of Manufacturing Day for Oct. 5, 2012.
The effort is sponsored by the Rockford, Ill.-based Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), the U.S. Commerce Department's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Wisconsin MEP (WMEP), and Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). MEP is part of the Commerce Department'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 manufacturing plays both in local communities and in the nation. The grassroots events also will 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 nonprofit Manufacturing Institute and others show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, 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.
"Manufacturing Day will be the 'coming-out party' for U.S. manufacturers all across the nation," said Ed Youdell, FMA president and CEO. "October 5 is dedicated to celebrating the great work and innovation of the 12 million men and women who make the U.S. 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."
"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," said Dave Barber, chairman of the FMA board of directors and president of The Wilmington Grill Co. in Wilmington, N.C. "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 unprecedented 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," Barber continued.
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 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.