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Calling All High Schoolers: How Is Manufacturing a Part of Your Life?

May 10, 2024
Enter an essay contest run by and for teens who are passionate about opportunities and innovation in the industry.

Editor’s note: IndustryWeek is excited to team up on an essay contest with The Subortus Project, a group of 11 enterprising high school students who believe that youth will drive the revival of manufacturing.

This story has been updated 6/27/24 with a new deadline and submission link.

Here are the details: 

📣Calling all high schoolers in the US!📣

How is manufacturing part of your life?

The Subortus Project invites you to reflect on this prompt through writing, film, or visual art, for a chance to be published in IndustryWeek.

Subortus is the Latin word for revival, or renewal. It reflects our belief that youth will drive the revival of manufacturing as a technological and economic powerhouse. Our goal is to get more youth in America talking about the growing manufacturing sector in America and inspired by its innovation and growth. 

The 11 high schoolers who compose The Subortus Project’s team found their passion for manufacturing in a variety of ways:

“I feel a deep connection to the ethos of The Subortus Project—a commitment to sustainability, a reverence for our planet, and an unwavering belief in the power of collective ingenuity.”

“My grandparents survived by joining the manufacturing sector of America’s workforce, and so I have a deep knowledge of the ups, downs and new innovations throughout the last couple decades.”

“My interest in manufacturing has come from doing research on pursuing my own business. This project would enlighten me on the manufacturing process past solely the consumer level.”

These are just a few of the stories shared on how America’s youth are connected to manufacturing. And we’re confident that there are tons more from our peers, including you!

Does manufacturing play a significant role in your hometown’s economy? Or do you learn about it at school? Or do you sometimes wonder where all the stuff you use comes from? Your answers to these questions are what we’re asking for!


  • Writing: submissions in English accepted. Prose and poetry accepted. Maximum word count is 750.
  • Film: submissions in English accepted. Maximum length is 5 minutes.
  • Visual art: any medium accepted. PNGs or JPEGs of artwork must be high resolution. PDFs also accepted.

The deadline to submit is July 31, 2024. 

Once all submissions are reviewed, select stand-out submissions will be published on IndustryWeek. Selectees will receive full credit and a byline/photo in IndustryWeek, and can mention their exceptional work on college applications and resumes. Readers of this publication range from manufacturing executives to education experts, and your perspective of manufacturing as a youth will be invaluable to them.

If you work in the manufacturing field, or are a teacher, mentor, youth leader, parent, etc., we kindly ask that you forward this prompt to any high schoolers you know!

Submit your entry via Google Forms: https://forms.gle/rroAtwLiaTsdP4kE8. This link is also found on our website, thesubortusproject.org.

Reach out to [email protected] with questions.

–The Subortus Project Team 🤝

About The Subortus Project

The Subortus Project, is a for-youth-and-by-youth non-profit organization led by high school students across America. We are dedicated to inspiring young people to pursue careers in the growing modern manufacturing sector. Our mission is to reinvent outdated perceptions of manufacturing and showcase its high-tech, innovative and diverse nature to students who may not have considered it before.

Founded in 2022, our project aims to bridge the gap between traditional education and the evolving manufacturing industry. We believe that by educating youth about the exciting opportunities in manufacturing today, we can help fill the growing number of unfilled jobs to transform this industry, and push it towards the future.

Read more about our story and our work at thesubortusproject.org. There, you can also read our original research writings on manufacturing and youth-oriented workforce development, completed after extensive field work by high-school members of our team.

About the Author

Olivia Liu | Founder, Executive Director, The Subortus Project

Olivia Liu is a senior at National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She is an editor of the school newspaper and a member of the Science Olympiad team. She plays alto saxophone competitively and piano at her leisure.

In 2022, she applied for and was awarded a grant by her school's Global Programs to work on a research project that studies the state of workforce development in the Rust Belt and Rural America.  One of her findings from the interviews and field work she conducted is that youth awareness and participation is a critical area in workforce development.  

Olivia hopes to support the ongoing industrial revival in America through The Subortus Project by promoting to youth the career opportunities in modern manufacturing and encouraging their interest in exploring the advanced manufacturing technologies.

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