Robots and augmented reality and 3D printing…oh my!

Manufacturing isn’t the factory your grandfather – or even your father – worked in. Today, factories are becoming high tech. Humans are working beside robots, augmented reality is being used for training, 3D printing is changing the way parts are being made, and factories are communicating through cloud connectivity. Frankly, manufacturing deserves a “mic drop.” By modern definition, a mic drop is a gesture that is done usually after a particularly impressive action. Manufacturing’s strides give it the right to keep dropping the mic!

Yet, if you go up to someone and mention “manufacturing,” their mind will most likely gravitate towards a dirty factory. While some factories are still working towards technology integration, the industry as a whole has shifted. Mundane jobs are transforming into programming jobs for robots. Upskilling is huge and training for this new wave of innovation requires workers with more technical abilities than previous years. Yet, the manufacturing stereotype still permeates throughout the minds of younger individuals. 

While parents have an influence, ultimately the children have the ability to decide for themselves. Younger people are not afraid of going off of the path and trying something new. While tech companies like Facebook or Uber might seem like the hip place to work, all manufacturing has to do is show them what they have to offer. While we can write articles and make flashy videos all we want, manufacturing needs to open their doors in order to open their minds to the possibilities by actually having them on the scene of the action.

That’s where Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) comes in. Manufacturing Day is a national initiative that happens every year, both nationally and internationally. Its goal is to celebrate modern manufacturing and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Manufacturing Day Makes a Difference

According to the 2016 MFG Day survey, students were 89% more aware of manufacturing jobs in their community. 84% of students were convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are both rewarding and interesting. Additionally, participation in MFG Day lead to 64% of students more likely to pursue a career in manufacturing. Manufacturing Day made a difference for these students. 

Even 90% of educators saw value in a manufacturing career after the 2016 events. Small steps with educators lead to larger steps in the classroom and an open mind to encouraging the industrial world as a career path. Such a shift could also reintroduce shop class as well as bring to the table a new array of classes geared towards skills for modern manufacturing. 

Mic Drop At Your Event

You can host a variety of events at your business or within your area. Or, seek out a local event nearby and partner up. If neither is a viable option, reach out to local schools and offer to present those days. What matters is that you make your voice heard.

Whether inside the plant or in a class room, engage the students by showing them your gadgets and technology. Bring along mobile devices and demonstrate using virtual reality. Get these modern learners board with your modern examples of the changing manufacturing world. Use creativity and don’t be afraid to be innovative.

Aim A Little Younger

Today, tech centers are popular places for engineers and the workforce to gravitate. With certain competition snatching up the talent, it helps to aim even younger in order to inspire. As students grow older, they may already be set on a path. Sectors like aerospace are reaching out to even younger students in order to spark their interest. Giants like Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. have taken part in this initiatives involving middle schoolers and children as young as pre-kindergarten. 

Get them while their minds are open and their curiosity rampant. As they grow older, they’ll not only consider manufacturing, but they’ll also pick up skills necessary to succeed in its new environment. Meanwhile, the perception slowly changes. 

Engage students in an innovative day of modern manufacturing by participating in MFG Day this October 6th. 


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MFG Day, News