Manufacturing Day 2017: Open Doors, Open Minds

October 20, 2017

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One of the most basic components of human nature is curiosity about the world around us – specifically the desire to understand how things are made and how they work. This curiosity is even stronger in adolescence, and harnessing it helps inspire the next generation of STEM leaders, thinkers, and doers. With a looming shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing and related fields, it is more important now than ever to get young people excited about future careers in manufacturing by showing them that they can channel that curiosity into opportunities for problem-solving and innovation in manufacturing.

Statistics show that Manufacturing Day events are a proven way to open students’ minds about what manufacturing really is. A Deloitte survey of students who participated in Manufacturing Day 2016 found that following Manufacturing Day activities 84% of students were “more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding” and 64% were “more motivated to pursue careers in manufacturing”.

Effects on Perception: Students who attended Manufacturing Day in 2016 were asked to participate in a survey administered by Deloitte. 89% were more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities. 84% were more convinced that manufacturing provides...
Results of 2016 Deloitte survey of students who attended Manufacturing Day events. Graphic courtesy Manufacturing Day 2017.

Building on support from the White House, Congress, and a number of other government agencies, the Advanced Manufacturing Office and its partners celebrated Manufacturing Day with thousands of students across the country. AMO and partners showed students the diverse opportunities that manufacturing offers including everything from the shop floor to world-class R&D facilities. 

  • Nearly 2000 students toured 40 Detroit-area businesses including the new Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) joint research and development facility following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
  • 150 students attended three events at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley (NRV) and learned how the facility is working with the Better Plants program to implement innovative solutions to manufacturing challenges.
  • High school students from upstate New York learned about careers in manufacturing an innovative technologies in remanufacturing and recycling from experts from the REMADE Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology. 
A group of students gather in front of a semi-truck cab inside the Volvo Trucks plant on Manufacturing Day 2017.
Students at one of Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley (NRV) plant’s Manufacturing Day 2017 events. Volvo hosted 150 students across three events in celebration of Manufacturing Day. (Photo Courtesy Volvo Trucks NRV)

Opening the doors of manufacturing and research facilities on Manufacturing Day not only helps to educate students about the opportunities in manufacturing, but it also gives them a firsthand look that builds excitement about manufacturing. Manufacturing Day is a unique opportunity not only to celebrate manufacturing, but also to inspire the next generation to innovate and pursue the exciting opportunities in manufacturing.

Read more about the importance of Manufacturing Day here and check out our interactive manufacturing timeline.

Also check out last year’s blog to see how we celebrated Manufacturing Day 2016.