It’s Manufacturing Day: Here’s Why You Should Find an Event Near You and Celebrate

By October 5, 2018Shopfloor Main

It’s finally here! Today, October 5, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) 2018 kicks off a month full of manufacturing events as thousands of factories and technical schools open their doors to parents, teachers and students to demonstrate the reality of modern manufacturing. There are more than 2,600 events across the country, from coast to coast. Take a look at for a full list of opportunities in your area.

Why should you celebrate MFG Day with us?

First, it’s fun. You get to do things like play with augmented reality apps. You get to see up close and firsthand how modern manufacturing actually works in 2018. Odds are, you’ll probably be surprised by what you find, too. This isn’t the industry your grandparents remember. Manufacturing jobs are increasingly high tech, high skill and high pay, yet they often don’t require a four-year degree and the debt that can come with it. And there are lots of them.

That brings us to the second reason to attend an MFG Day event: many Americans have the kind of outdated view of manufacturing careers that you may have had yourself, and that’s not only holding them back from great careers that can advance their lives; it’s also causing a workforce crisis in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are generating so many good jobs these days that they cannot find enough skilled workers to fill them. As a National Association of Manufacturers survey released just this morning shows, 92.5 percent of manufacturers are optimistic about their businesses, yet 73 percent express serious concerns about their ability to continue growing amid the shortage of workers. MFG Day is one of the best opportunities we have to smash the false perceptions that perpetuate this crisis.

Manufacturers, like Samsung, are constantly looking for employees who are passionate about, and have the skills to be successful in, high-tech manufacturing. These are jobs that provide opportunities at various education backgrounds. For example, Samsung provides numbers career paths with rewarding opportunities to employees with high school diplomas all the way to Ph.D.’s. I’ll be kicking off MFG Day myself with Samsung today along with dozens of students from local high schools for a tour and presentation at the company’s semiconductor facility in Austin, Texas. We’ll get the chance to see cutting-edge technology up close at one of the most advanced semiconductor fabrication facilities in the world. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m grateful to the many sponsors like Samsung that make MFG Day possible.

If we want to open minds, we first have to open doors. That’s what MFG Day is all about. It’s key to inspiring the next generation of manufacturers, and it may even open a door to new career opportunities for you. So I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check out firsthand what modern manufacturing has to offer by attending an event yourself. Even if you can’t, make sure to join the online conversation this week using #MFGDay18 and engage with @mfgday, @shopfloornam and @themfginstitute on Twitter and @nampage and @mfgday on Facebook.

Carolyn Lee

Carolyn Lee

Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute at The Manufacturing Institute
Carolyn Lee is Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association. Carolyn drives an agenda focused on improving the manufacturing industry through its three centers: the Center for the American Workforce, the Center for Manufacturing Research, and the Center for Best Practices.

In her role, Carolyn leads the Institute’s workforce efforts to close the skills gap and inspire all Americans to enter the U.S. manufacturing workforce, focusing on women, youth, and veterans. Carolyn steers the Institute’s initiatives and programs to educate the public on manufacturing careers, improve the quality of manufacturing education, engage, develop and retain key members of the workforce, and identify and document best practices. In addition, Carolyn drives the agenda for the Center for Manufacturing Research, which partners with leading consulting firms in the country. The Institute studies the critical issues facing manufacturing and then applies that research to develop and identify solutions that are implemented by companies, schools, governments, and organizations across the country.

Prior to joining the Institute, Carolyn was Senior Director of Tax Policy at the NAM beginning in 2011, where she was responsible for key portions of the NAM’s tax portfolio representing the manufacturing community on Capitol Hill and in the business community and working closely with the NAM membership. She served as the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs at the Telecommunications Industry Association, Manager of State and Federal Government Affairs for 3M Company, and in various positions on Capitol Hill including as Legislative Director for former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and as a senior legislative staff member for former U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY).

Carolyn is a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania graduating with a B.A. in Political Science. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.
Carolyn Lee

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