Manufacturing Day may not have the rich history of annual events like Labor Day or July Fourth, but its celebration is still invaluable to everyone within the manufacturing supply chain. This year, the holiday will be observed on Friday, Oct. 2, and manufacturing professionals and the general public have a lot to look forward to in the fall. Hundreds of companies and organizations are planning to use the big day as a platform to reach out and show the world just how important manufacturing is in today's economy and where the industry is headed in the future. Presenters hope to educate and inform, but also to inspire younger generations of manufacturing professionals to join the sector. There will be numerous events, webinars, media outreach, open houses and more.
The History of Manufacturing Day
Getting its start just four years ago, Manufacturing Day is already gaining a lot of traction. The sector experienced a significant resurgence in 2010, helping pull the United States out of the Great Recession, and this has helped to further investments and strengthen manufacturing to ensure continued growth in the future.
"President Obama proclaimed Manufacturing Day a national holiday in 2014."
According to Manufacturing.net, the annual celebration Manufacturing Day came about when Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, was speaking with a colleague about the importance of reaching out to the student population to create interest in manufacturing careers. Support for the holiday grew quickly, with groups like the Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers joining the cause. It is now observed on the first Friday of October, and will be for years to come. Last year, President Barack Obama declared Manufacturing Day to be a national holiday.
"I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with programs and activities that highlight the contributions of American manufacturers, and I encourage all Americans to visit a manufacturer in their local community," Obama proclaimed.
Why is it important?
The manufacturing sector in the U.S. is expanding every day. If the most recent ISM Report on Business showing that manufacturing expanded for the 31st consecutive month in July is any indicator, the sector will likely continue to grow bigger. That, of course, means more jobs are going to be created and qualified professionals will be needed to fill those positions. In fact, Manufacturing.net reported that more than 3.5 million jobs may be created within the next 10 years, but less than half will be filled, leaving a big gap and a bigger need to fill it.
Not only does the sector need more workers, but those workers will need to be skilled and trained. With so much new technology, and the increasing need for innovation to stay on top, the sector, with federal assistance, is working to create education opportunities to prepare the next generation of professionals. The Obama administration has been creating institutes and learning centers across the country in manufacturing hubs like Louisville, Kentucky, for years to help further this cause.
Don Nowak, the president of Falcon Fastening Solutions, Inc., recently explained to Fastener Industry News that Manufacturing Day also looks beyond the industry as a whole and highlights many of the cogs that make the machine function so well. In particular, he told FIN that the Fastener Industry Coalition is encouraging fastener manufacturers to use the holiday as a chance to showcase the industry's importance to the manufacturing sector.
"More than 400 events are already planned."
What are this year's events?
Numerous manufacturing associations and companies will be hosting events on Manufacturing Day, as well as throughout the year. Already, more than 400 events are slated to take place on the holiday in the U.S. alone, and that number is sure to grow, as Manufacturing.net indicated. The first year saw 240 events, but by last year, 1,679 different events took place in celebration of manufacturing.
The Manufacturing Day website provides a handy search tool to help people locate events taking place in their area. Here are a few highlights of activities, tours and more scheduled to take place in and around North Carolina:
- Daimler Trucks: Cleveland, North Carolina – Nominated students from three local high schools will get to tour the facilities as well as hear presentations from a community college, meet industry professionals, and even meet a few local politicians. The goals is to give them a comprehensive look at the various roles involved in manufacturing.
- Mertek Solutions, Inc.: Sanford, North Carolina – Interested professionals and students can attend the open house from 8:30 – 2 p.m. on Oct. 2 to see robotics displays and meet with a variety of vendors within the industry. Mertek is in the business of assembly and design testing, proving a unique angle on the sector.
- Innovation Center: Sanford, North Carolina – With tours starting at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Oct. 2, Innovation Center is ready to open the doors to its facilities, which include labs, classrooms and simulation areas. There will also be numerous vendors on-site, displaying their products and brands, including Mertek Solutions, Floorazzo Tile, Caterpillar, This End Up Furniture and more.
- WC Manufacturing & Specialty: Cayce, South Carolina – This boating trailer manufacturer is providing tours (starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2) of facilities that have been running for more than 60 years, making this event a worthwhile stop on any professional or student's list. The event will also include presentations on the traditions and values that have kept the company going.
Not only will interested people be able to visit manufacturing facilities in person, but they can go online to attend webinars and other online events, read in-depth articles, and even watch TV programs that delve into the sector.
"They run a 'How It's Made' marathon on Manufacturing Day so that if you can't find an event close to you or on our website, you can still learn about manufacturing by sitting down in front of your television," Youdell told Manufacturing.net.
Whether manufacturers want to host an event of their own for this year's holiday or start planning which they will attend, there is still plenty of time to get ready for the next Manufacturing Day.