Second Annual Manufacturing Day Celebrates American Knowhow

Second Annual Manufacturing Day Celebrates American Know-how

Sept. 27, 2013
Manufacturers on October 4 look to connect with communities and make the case for manufacturing careers.

The mission of Manufacturing Day 2013 on Friday, October 4th, is to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation's economy, address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors, and show what manufacturing is -- and what it isn't.

Manufacturing Day has become an annual national event after its inaugural year in 2012 that is executed at the local level supporting hundreds of manufacturers across the nation that host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers.

In its first year, more than 240 events were held in manufacturing facilities in 37 states and more than 7,000 people participated. This year's celebration will feature open houses, public tours, career workshops and other activities to increase public awareness of modern manufacturing. Events also will introduce manufacturers to business improvement resources and services delivered through the MEP's network of hundreds of affiliated centers across the country.

By working together during and after Manufacturing Day, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs available in manufacturing fields,and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

This year's Manufacturing Day is being co-produced by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Industrial Strength Marketing which is a leading industrial B2B marketing agency, and the Manufacturing Institute. The national media partner for the event is the Science Channel.

"Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to shift Americans' perception that it is not our grandfather's manufacturing anymore and to showcase the tremendous career opportunities manufacturing has to offer," said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. "This day is an engaging way to attract young people and get them excited about pursuing a career in a technology-driven, innovative environment that will also provide a good-paying job. We encourage all manufacturers and manufacturing associations to get involved and share what we already know -- manufacturing makes us strong."

A long list of trade associations and private companies have joined the effort as sponsors that includes Shell and the Alliance for American Manufacturing at the Gold level, Precision Metalforming Association, SME Education Foundation, Association for Manufacturing Excellence, the Plastics Industry Trade Association, and IHS GlobalSpec at the Silver level, as well as many others at the Bronze level. The long list of endorsers on the website includes my own organization.

"We're honored to be a part of Manufacturing Day this year and look forward to helping make it a success," said Scott Paul, president of AAM. "An innovative and growing manufacturing base is vital to America's economic and national security, as well as to providing good jobs for future generations."

"The co-producers could not be more pleased that these organizations and companies, which work on such an integral level with all sectors of the manufacturing industry, are putting their full support behind Manufacturing Day," said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. "Their reputation and their reach to professionals in the industry, as well as educators and students, will help generate participation in Manufacturing Day events across the nation."

The SME Education Foundation sees this is an opportunity for educators and parents to visit local employers with children, particularly those in middle school, to get them excited about the career opportunities available for those who have critically important STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills.

"The SME Education Foundation is dedicated to opening multiple pathways for young people to find fulfilling, high paying careers in manufacturing. Manufacturing Day is an opportunity to highlight manufacturing as vital to our economy and a career path that helps to growing wealth for the individual and for our nation," said Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. "Positive national media attention can help to dispel misconceptions about industries that provide safe, clean work environments while manufacturing products that improve standards of living in our global economy."

Supported by this group of co-producers and industry sponsors, Manufacturing Day is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, Manufacturing Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

From now until Manufacturing Day, October 4th, enter the Manufacturing Day Sweepstakes to win a trip for two to a 2014 race of your choice, courtesy of Shell Lubricants. Eligible races include any of the Sprint Cup Series or Nationwide Series races during the 2014 season. The winner will be selected on October 7, 2013 and will be contacted shortly thereafter to claim their prize. Click hereto enter today!

Making the Case for Manufacturing Careers

According to the 2012 Public Perception of Manufacturing reportby the nonprofit Manufacturing Institute, 80% of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, standard of living and national security. Yet, only 30% would encourage their children to go into manufacturing as a career. The hope is that by providing media, educators, parents and kids with an inside look at the high-tech world of manufacturing this percentage will begin to grow.

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. By promoting Manufacturing Day, manufacturing associations and other organizations led by NIST MEP centers and the FMA said they want to remove some of the myths surrounding manufacturing. For example, manufacturing is a solid, long-term career choice for qualified candidates -- including the young people who will form the workforce of tomorrow.

Here is a summary of a few reasons why we should acknowledge the importance of manufacturing by observing October 4th as Manufacturing Day that are outlined in greater detail in the chapter on "Why we should save American Manufacturing" from my book "Can American Manufacturing be Saved? Why we should and how we can:"

  • Manufacturing is the foundation of the American economy, and high-paying manufacturing jobs spurred a robust and growing economy and improved our quality of life. Manufacturing jobs were responsible for the lower working class rising into the middle class the last century.
  • Manufacturing is critical to our national defense because American manufacturers supply the military with the essential needed to defend our country. Without a strong manufacturing industry, America could lose future wars.
  • Manufacturing wages and benefits are 25-50% higher than non-manufacturing jobs. Only 16% of today's workers earn the $20/hour ─ down 60% since 1979.
  • United States is the world's third largest exporter after China & Germany. Manufactured goods make up more than 60% of U. S. exports, and high-tech products are largest export sector – four times as much as agriculture.
  • Manufacturing supports states' economies through the taxes they pay. Manufacturing is the largest sector in 10 states, second largest in 9 states, and third largest in 21 states. Losing the critical mass of manufacturing will result in larger state and federal budget deficits. Over 90% of all manufacturers are small businesses of less than 100 people.

In my home town of San Diego, Manufacturing Day is being promoted by the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the East County EDC, the San Diego North County EDC, CONNECT, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), the Tijuana EDC, and D&K Engineering. The day starts off with:

8 a.m. Breakfast and Networking
8:30 – 10 a.m. Program
San Diego City College, Corporate Ed Center
1551 C Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Moderator: Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC

Panelists joining the conversation are:
Stephan Aarstol, Founder & CEO, Tower Paddle Boards
Alex Kunczynski, President, D&K Engineering

Rick Urban, COO/CFO, Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc.

Chris Wellons, Vice President of Manufacturing, Taylor Guitars

Unfortunately, this event is already sold out, but you can add your name to the wait list at

Tours: Following this Kick-off breakfast, you are invited to tour various local manufacturers who have agreed to open their doors to the community. Further information and registration to attend the tours can be found at Click on "Attend an Event" to find a tour near you.

To learn more about Manufacturing Day or to sign up to host or participate in one of the events, log on to www.mfgday. Organizations that wish to become involved as official sponsors of this program may email [email protected].

Michele Nash-Hoff is president of ElectroFab Sales. She is the author of "Can American Manufacturing Be Saved?"

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!