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Manufacturing Day 2015 Helps Helps Shift Perceptions

Too many jobs, not enough workers…that's one of the biggest conundrums in electronics manufacturing sector is the reality that demand for manufacturing and supply chain talent will far outpace supply in the coming years. Increasingly, the industry is working effectively to raise awareness amongst young workers and students about the stellar opportunities that electronics manufacturing affords.

Manufacturing Day 2015 was comprised of 2,620 events held in North America, including all 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. In addition, 12 virtual events allowed even more people to participate. More than 20 sponsoring companies and organizations supported the effort. Manufacturers opened their doors to visitors to help people understand the industry.

These efforts are proving effective, a recent survey found. Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) 2015 reached more than 400,000 participants and improved public perception of manufacturing. A new Deloitte perception survey, which polled teachers, students and parents in the United States, found that 81% of students said they were more convinced that manufacturing could provide an interesting and rewarding career after attending Manufacturing Day events. “This survey further demonstrates the changing perception of manufacturing across the country, particularly among young people, and we have events like Manufacturing Day to thank in large part for this positive trend,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Meanwhile, 71% said that they would be more likely to tell friends, family, parents, or colleagues about manufacturing than before.  “The co-producers of Manufacturing Day could not be more pleased with the results of the 2015 celebration,” said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), one of the co-producing organizations, in a written statement. “Our goal, when we created Manufacturing Day just three years ago, was to bring manufacturing into the mainstream. We wanted to showcase this important sector of the American economy and introduce young people to the career options and exciting work environments manufacturing offers.”

Educators were similarly swayed. Nine out of ten surveyed said they would be more likely to encourage a career in manufacturing than before. “Every day we aspire to make this industry better than it was yesterday, and the results of the Manufacturing Day survey illustrate how we are improving the image of the industry through Manufacturing Day, and positioning the industry as a rewarding career path for future generations,” said Jennifer McNelly, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute.

The good results extended into the industry as well, with 94% of manufacturers reporting value in the events. In addition, 88% said that the experience has made them more likely to engage with high schools and colleges in their area.

The sponsor list was headed by Platinum sponsor Shell Lubricants and Gold sponsors Alliance for American Manufacturing and SME. In addition, more than 170 organizations endorsed Manufacturing Day and served as the conduit through which information about the event was disseminated.

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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