Factory Tours Urged to Raise Awareness of Skilled Career Options
ROCKFORD, Ill., June 26, 2012 – To highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs available in manufacturing fields, a group of public and private organizations announced today the launch of Manufacturing Day for Oct. 5, 2012.
The effort is sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the U.S. Commerce Department’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Wisconsin MEP (WMEP) and Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). MEP is part of DOC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The sponsors invite additional associations and organizations supporting the manufacturing industry to join the program. Through open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events held at participating facilities on Oct. 5, the sponsors hope to introduce as many people as possible to the important role played by manufacturing both in local communities and for the nation. The grassroots events will also introduce manufacturers to business improvement resources and services delivered through the MEP’s network of more than 400 affiliated centers across the country.
Studies by the nonprofit Manufacturing Institute and others show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, standard of living and national security. Yet only 30 percent would encourage their children to go into manufacturing as a career.
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, and it is a vital part of our economy.
“Manufacturing Day will be the ‘coming out party’ for U.S. manufacturers all across the nation,” said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the FMA. “October 5th is dedicated to celebrating the great work and innovation of the 12 million men and women who make the United States the world’s largest manufacturing economy. FMA and MEP centers are encouraging their members and manufacturers to open their doors to their local school kids, community college students, press, and job seekers so that they can see firsthand the safe, high-tech and innovative work environments that await the best and brightest who pursue careers in manufacturing.”
“Manufacturing is a crucial part of the national economy,” said Buckley Brinkman, executive director and CEO of the WMEP. “It drives value creation, innovation and employment throughout the country, and we want to show our communities the opportunities available in manufacturing today. Our future depends on our ability to strengthen and advance this vital sector and Manufacturing Day can accelerate that process.”
“We hope that every manufacturing organization—local, regional and national—will encourage its members to embrace the concept of Manufacturing Day and conduct an open house for the community,” said Dave Barber, chairman of the FMA board of directors and president of The Wilmington Grill Company in Wilmington, N.C. “And, we hope the organizations themselves will encourage the media to report on these events so that thousands of people will visit local manufacturers and learn what really goes on in America’s industrial parks. It is particularly important that educators and parents avail themselves of this unprecedented opportunity to visit local employers with children—particularly those in middle school and junior high—to introduce them to the career opportunities that exist for those who are prepared with appropriate science and math skills.”
“Setting aside October 5th as Manufacturing Day to promote the gains we’ve seen in manufacturing is a great initiative,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), co-chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus. “The Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are playing no small part in the resurgence of manufacturing—and I commend them for their hard work.”
“As co-founder of the House Manufacturing Caucus, I have long championed the need to maintain our competitive edge in all manufacturing industries,” said Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL). I encourage all manufacturers to reach out and invite their members of congress to visit their facility on Oct. 5th for a tour and a chance to meet their constituents. Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to do this.”
To learn more about Manufacturing Day, log on to www.mfgday.com or call 888-394-4362. Organizations that wish to become involved as official sponsors of this program should call 888-394-4362 or email email@example.com.
About the FMA
Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with nearly 2,500 members working together to improve the metal processing, forming and fabricating industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events and the FABTECH® tradeshow. FMA also has two technology affiliates, the Tube & Pipe Association, Intl. (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating; and Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members dedicated to working toward environmentally friendly manufacturing. Learn more at www.fmanet.org.
About NIST MEP
Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) is a public/private partnership that works with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, save time and money, develop new customers, and expand into new markets. Founded in 1988, the nationwide network provides a variety of services, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing. MEP field staff includes more than 1,400 technical experts located in every state. For every dollar of federal investment, the MEP generates around $30 in new sales growth ($3.6 billion in new sales annually). For every $1,570 of federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job. Visit www.nist.gov/mep or call 1-800-MEP-4MFG for more information.
About the IMEC
IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A nonprofit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by NIST MEP and by fees for services paid by Illinois manufacturers. Experienced staff based at 11 office locations throughout Illinois provide hands-on technical assistance and consulting services to help manufacturers innovate, contain manufacturing costs, streamline processes, and increase profits.
About the WMEP
The WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. Since 1996, WMEP has helped to generate more than $1.8 billion in economic impact and create and save more than 14,000 state manufacturing jobs, according to results documented by customers. WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and NIST MEP. The WMEP also partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.
For more information contact:
Patricia Lee, Director of Marketing
Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl.
(815) 227-8286 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Huergo, Director of Media Relations
National Institute of Standards and Technology
(301) 975-6343 • email@example.com