Event was part of a drive to foster careers in skilled trades
Students, parents and teachers recently learned of the diverse career opportunities available in Michigan during the nation’s largest one-day celebration of manufacturing.
The Manufacturing Institute, which is the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity collaborated for the Oct. 4 event.
“The next frontier of manufacturing in the United States is upon us, and now, more than ever, we need the next generation of creators to join our workforce,” said Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “We thank our generous sponsors, like the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, for working alongside us to showcase what modern manufacturing really looks like in their own eyes through a Manufacturing Day experience.”
Michigan is currently ranked fourth in the nation in manufacturing behind California, Texas and Ohio, according to the Construct Connect website. There were 11,281 manufacturing firms in Michigan in 2016, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, with a total manufacturing output of $96.22 billion.
One state official noted that Michigan has been a leader in the industry for years.
“Michigan’s manufacturing industry has shaped the state’s economy and identity for decades and currently provides jobs to more than 632,000 Michiganders,” said Labor and Economic Opportunity Workforce Development Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “We are always looking to attract and retain great talent in Michigan and are proud to sponsor initiatives like Manufacturing Day to bring awareness to the high-demand, good-paying careers in manufacturing.”
Carol Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute, said events such as Manufacturing Day are necessary to bring more people into the skilled trades arena.
“Manufacturing Day has become the collective rallying cry of manufacturers preparing for the future by engaging with the workforce of tomorrow today,” said Lee. “Our industry faces a workforce crisis, with manufacturers needing to fill 4.6 million jobs over the next decade. That’s why The Manufacturing Institute, with sponsors like Workforce Development, works tirelessly to engage creative, hard-working talent through initiatives like MFG Day.”
First held in 2012 and organized by its founder – the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International – Manufacturing Day gives manufacturers the opportunity to address the skills gap, connect with future generations, update the public perception of manufacturing and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry.