We have all heard about the positive impacts of manufacturing on our economy, but how much do middle and high-school students really know about pursuing these well-paid jobs? At The Rodon Group, we have put a great deal of effort into getting the word out about STEM education and the long-term careers this industry provides.
Part of our campaign involves a national event called Manufacturing Day. This annual event began in 2012. It was the brainchild of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.
In its first year, the event was hosted by 200 manufacturing companies nationwide. In 2013, the event spread to over 800 manufacturing companies who conducted presentations, tours, and hands-on challenge contests. So far, this year, nearly 1,400 have signed up, with over 65 in Pennsylvania alone.
The goal is to have Manufacturing Day become a recognized American holiday, because this industry sector contributes so much to the well-being of the U.S. economy. It is estimated that for every $1.00 of goods produced, manufacturing generates an additional $1.37 for the Economy. Every 100 manufacturing jobs create 250 jobs in other sectors. Yet, few parents encourage their children to enter manufacturing careers.
A recent blog post from ThomasNet RPM states that "A huge challenge to filling jobs is overcoming the negative industry perception ― improving this image, while exposing the population to a manufacturing career, is the key to a successful future for this industry." The post also mentions several outreach programs and industry rebranding ideas that could help with the overall perception of manufacturing.
Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute have collaborated over the years to develop studies that examine the public perception of manufacturing, the skills gap in manufacturing and women in manufacturing. See the infographic below from Deloitte (in collaboration with the MFG Day organizers) showing the events positive impact on the perception of the industry.
What other ideas do you or your company have to help change the perception? Let us know in the comments section below.
P.S. Look for a future follow up post covering our Manufacturing Day event on October 7th.