One month from today, manufacturers from around the country will invite their communities into their facilities to celebrate modern manufacturing as part of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) 2017. This annual celebration connects manufacturers with students, educators, local leaders and the business community to inspire the next generation of manufacturers by featuring career opportunities and changing the public perception of manufacturing. With 390,000 manufacturing jobs sitting vacant and the skills gap continuing to widen, exposing the future workforce to potential opportunities is more important now than ever before.
While the manufacturing industry has evolved over time to integrate sophisticated technology and cutting-edge innovation, it has failed to shed its antiquated reputation. As I highlighted in my recent post, “Cultivating the Next Generation of Manufacturers,” that reputation has kept younger generations from pursuing careers in the industry and is the reason one-third of Americans would not encourage their child to work in manufacturing. How can one day change a perception that’s been ingrained into society over decades? According to students who attended MFG Day events in 2016, 89% were more aware of jobs in their communities, 84% were more convinced manufacturing provides rewarding careers, 64% were more likely to pursue a career in the industry and 71% were more likely to tell family and friends about manufacturing. There’s no denying those numbers are huge, which is why 24 MFG Day events are already scheduled to take place across North Carolina.
It’s not too late for your organization to plan an event of your own. The MFG Day website provides you with all the resources necessary to plan and register your event. While the official MFG Day is October 6th, you can make any day that best fits your schedule MFG Day. In honor of #WorkReadyWednesday, I encourage you to consider planning, attending or inviting a young person you know to an MFG Day event. In order to close the skills gap long-term, we must first attract the talent to fill the pipeline. MFG Day offers a unique opportunity to do just that, building community relationships and reaching students early to illuminate future opportunities. If you’d like a North Carolina Chamber representative to attend your MFG Day event, please email Meaghan Lewis, government affairs manager.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber