The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s workforce development and education partner, is hard at work preparing for MFG Day 2022, coming up on Oct. 7 and celebrated throughout the month of October. In a recent webinar—led by MI Director of Student Engagement Jen White—participants learned about the importance of MFG Day, as well as best practices for planning an MFG Day event.
What it is: MFG Day, organized nationally by the MI, is the industry’s largest grassroots movement to open doors to manufacturing for students, parents and educators.
- A major goal of MFG Day is to change common misconceptions and stereotypes about the manufacturing industry, letting participating students see for themselves that manufacturing plants are modern, safe workplaces that use the most technologically advanced processes to create all kinds of crucial goods.
- Host companies often welcome a mix of students, educators, parents and community leaders and provide them with an inside view of the industry—and the careers available.
Why it matters: MFG Day is crucial to solving the impending workforce crisis in the industry.
- Manufacturers will need to fill about 4 million jobs by 2030, but right now, more than half of those jobs are projected to be unfilled because of a lack of qualified talent or skills. That shortage could cost the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion!
- “We have to increase awareness among students, educators, parents and other adults of influence and the public in general of the importance that manufacturers play in our daily lives,” said White.
Planning an event: The MI has a variety of resources available to help companies plan and execute their MFG Day events this year.
- Past events have ranged from open houses with tours to expos, job fairs and roundtable discussions—and often, companies team up with other manufacturers nearby to create a group event.
- Check out creatorswanted.org/resources for help.
Best practices: During the webinar, White noted that the key to a successful MFG Day event is knowing who your audience is and what they are interested in—and making sure your company can engage with them.
- This can include working with local schools, and also “local liaisons, your workforce boards, your chambers of commerce, local associations, community-based organizations like boys and girls clubs or the Girl Scouts,” said White. “There’s so many different organizations out there that already have wonderful relationships with youth and students.”
- “The key is getting involved and starting to build those partnerships with those schools and those community organizations—and not just to have it be on that one day, but continually. I say MFG Day is every day,” White added.
Timeline: The time to start planning an MFG Day event is today!
- White recommends that potential MFG day hosts begin planning event logistics and start contacting schools or community groups during the summer months.
- Once a plan is in place, it can be registered on the Creators Wanted website and officially listed.
The last word: “We must build ongoing partnerships between companies, community, organizations and schools to continue the engagement beyond one single connection opportunity or one day,” said White. “It won’t easy. It won’t be quick, but it is the way ahead, and students are our future.”