National Manufacturing Day is coming to Northern Michigan’s students!

High schoolers, parents and community can tour local manufacturing facilities during the week of Nov. 5-9, 2018

MFG DAYDuring the week of Nov. 5-9, 2018, area students, parents and community residents will have the opportunity to tour some of the region’s most unique and important manufacturing facilities. Tours will take place at numerous plants in Charlevoix and Emmet Counties, during school hours.

National Manufacturing Day is a national effort to promote manufacturing jobs to high school students as a post-secondary career path option and to create awareness about the important role of manufacturers in communities.

“Area high schoolers will be able to learn first-hand about the skills they’ll need to enter the manufacturing workforce. Local parents will learn about the high-paying, in-demand job opportunities for their students right here in Northern Michigan. Community residents will see our successful businesses in action!” said Ashley Cousens, Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

Cousens has been working to organize the local National Manufacturing Day with a committee of regional representatives from chambers of commerce, Char-Em Intermediate School District’s Career and Technical Education team, the Northwest Michigan Industrial Association, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance staff, schools administrators and counselors.

Participating manufacturers currently include: 

Charlevoix County: Lexamar, Industrial Magnetics, Precision Edge, ACAT, Wojan, Harbor Industries, Michigan Scientific, DCL, MDC/Rosetta/Redi-Rock, ALP, EJ – Visitor Center, and East Jordan Plastics. The North Central Michigan College Fab Lab will be on-site at East Jordan Middle/High School as well.

Emmet County: Jervis Webb, Central Industrial, Moeller Aerospace, Petoskey Plastics, Manthei Veneer, and Circuit Control Corp.

(Additional manufacturers may be added.) 

“We hope that students throughout our area will have the opportunity to tour manufacturing facilities in their own communities and get a better understanding of what jobs are available to them locally when they graduate,” Cousens said.

Jim Rummer, Char-Em ISD CTE Director, said the effort will benefit manufacturers who are in need of skilled workers. “This is a great example of the work of our CTE team – connecting students with jobs and making sure they are all career and college ready,” Rummer said. “We hope National Manufacturing Day exceeds expectations and perhaps even makes some on-the-spot job connections between our students and our businesses.”

Allan Hopkins, plant manager of Petoskey Plastics and a member of the Northwest Michigan Industrial Association, said events like National Manufacturing Day are crucial to recognizing the role of manufacturing in every-day life, and also to help recruit future employees. “Manufacturing day is important to all Americans because as we continue to develop products and unlock new technologies that grow our economy; we create jobs and competitiveness,” Hopkins said. “Our area manufacturers are opening their doors to inspire our young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering. Today’s technical graduates will drive the next chapter in American production and innovation.”

Mary Faculak, President/CEO of the East Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said her organization is proud to be participating in making National Manufacturing Day a reality locally. “We are so fortunate to have world class industries in our region that provide excellent career choices and work environments in one of the finest areas to live, raise families and enjoy a superior quality of life. This introduction to our local manufacturers certainly may turn out to be a life changing experience for our area students,” she noted.

How to participate

More details will be made available to Char-Em ISD schools, including how high school students may register for the tours. Transportation will be provided for interested students throughout Emmet, Charlevoix and northern Antrim Counties, courtesy of Char-Em Intermediate School District and its partner agencies. Interested students will be asked to register with their school. Questions may be directed to high school counselors or by calling Tory Thrush, Char-Em ISD Career/College Readiness Liaison, at (231) 582-8070.

Additionally, many of the facilities will open their doors to the community and parents from noon to 3 p.m. on the day of their specific tour; dates of specific tours at the various manufacturers will be announced soon. Please note not all participating manufacturers will offer community tours; please check in advance. Complete details will be available on the Char-Em ISD website closer to Nov. 5.

In coordination with the week’s activities, North Central Michigan College will host a public, community open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the TECH building shop, room 228.

The National Manufacturing Day is held throughout the country on Oct. 5, 2018. In future years, the local team hopes to coordinate all regional site tours around the national activities, Cousens noted.

About national ‘MFG DAY’

Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

MFG 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, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

Created by Founding Partner Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International in 2012, MFG DAY has enjoyed support from many organizations aligned with its mission of positively changing the public perception of modern manufacturing. Organizations that have played a vital role in working with FMA to successfully grow this national celebration of all things manufacturing include the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

For more information, visit the Manufacturing Day website.

Study Shows Manufacturing Day Has Big Impact on Student Perceptions

Just how much of an impact is Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) having on students’ perceptions of manufacturing? Cumulatively, the effects over the years have been quite substantial — and continue to trend upward.

The latest study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute on MFG Day’s effects on student perceptions of manufacturing found:

  • 84 percent of students who attended MFG Day events emerged “more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding.”
  • 71 percent of student attendees said that they “were more likely to tell friends, family, parents, or colleagues about manufacturing after attending an event,” meaning that they weren’t just convinced — they were inspired.
  • 64 percent of surveyed student event participants said that they “were more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing.”

Based on a projected 267,607 student attendance figure, that’s:

  • 224,290 students with a better perception of manufacturing careers
  • 190,001 students talking to friends and family about manufacturing
  • 171,268 students thinking about joining the manufacturing team

While that’s not enough to close the projected gap of 2 million unfilled positions manufacturers in the U.S. will be faced with in 2025, it’s a strong start. By having an MFG Day every year — and continuing to increase participation across the U.S. — this effort can inspire a whole new generation of manufacturers.

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