For the fifth year, One Southern Indiana (1si) coordinated more than 1,000 students from the region visiting 16 facilities from October 15 through October 17 in recognition of National Manufacturing Day, which was earlier this month. National Manufacturing Day was created in response to a dire need in American manufacturing – a major shortage of skilled workers. According to the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, Over the next decade, 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2.4 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. The problem is one of perception. While 90 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is very important to economic prosperity, only 33 percent of parents would encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing.
Founded as a national event by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) in 2012, Manufacturing Day was determined to be an excellent way to combat this malady and reverse negative perceptions about manufacturing jobs and careers. Industry leaders believed Manufacturing Day events were the best way to literally demonstrate the exciting variety of work taking place in manufacturing facilities across the country. More than half of parents surveyed believed manufacturing did not offer job security and stability, interesting or rewarding careers or simply had an unfavorable perception of the industry as a whole.
Manufacturing environments are commonly thought of as dark, dangerous factories designed for low-skilled workers. Manufacturing Day addresses this misconception by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors, and in a coordinated effort, demonstrate modern manufacturing and its benefits as a career path, such as:
- Manufacturing is technologically advanced, with ample use of automation, 3-D printing, robots and screen technology;
- Wages in manufacturing continued to increase over the last 12 months.Manufacturing workers in the U.S. earned $84,832 annually including pay and benefits;
- 92 percent of manufacturing employees were eligible for health insurance benefits in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation; This is significantly higher than the 79 percent average for all firms;
- Manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector; and
- For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.82 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. In addition, for every worker in manufacturing, there are another four employees hired elsewhere.
Last year, 275,000 people participated in nearly 3,000 Manufacturing Day events across North America—and more than 80 percent of students said they became more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers after attending these events.
Tours were scheduled for students during 1si’s 2019 manufacturing week at the following businesses:
- Amatrol, Inc.
- Chester Pools Systems, Inc.
- Cimtech, Inc.
- Discount Labels, Inc.
- ERL, Inc.
- KCC Manufacturing
- Koetter Woodworking, Inc.
- L & D Mail Masters, Inc.
- Owings Patterns, Inc.
- Perkins Technology Center, Ivy Tech Jeffersonville Campus
- Revere Plastics Systems
- S&J Precision Inc.
- Samtech, Inc.
- Technidyne Corp.
- Winston Industries, LLC
Schools that brought students to tour facilities include:
- Clarksville Community School Corporation,
- Greater Clark County Schools,
- New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation
- Our Lady of Providence High School
- Prosser Career Education Center,
- South Harrison Community School Corporation,
- West Clark Community Schools,
1si MMA Manufacturing Day sponsors were:
- MFG DAY Presenting Sponsor – PNC Bank
- MFG DAY Celebration Sponsor – Harding, Shymanski & Company, P.S.C.
- Supporting Sponsors
- Electromechanical Research Laboratories, Inc.
- Greater Clark County Schools
- Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana