National Manufacturing Day Connects Community, Fosters New Business

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President Obama officially declared Oct. 3 as National Manufacturing Day, bringing more attention to an annual event established in 2012 by manufacturing trade groups, media and industry partners that was designed to address “common misperceptions about manufacturing, as well as what manufacturing is—and what it isn’t.”

Events are continuing through November and December, so while the October events were a great success, it’s not over for companies that still want to get involved, whether it’s to interact with their peers, find great job candidates or give back to their community. Events that have already taken place ranged from plant tours to discussions of business models and supply chain logistics.

“Some companies are good at reinvesting in employees, but it’s about helping them become better employees.”

Obama’s official proclamation drew a fair amount of media buzz to the initiative. Both local and national press publicized many of the 1,600 Manufacturing Day events that were being held during the month at local manufacturing facilities throughout the country. Companies such as Devoll’s Rubber Products Inc. in Adelanto, Calif. and steel fabricator Steffes Corp. in Dickinson, N.D. opened their doors to the public to demonstrate what they do and the types of jobs available there.

Caterpillar Inc. hosted events at each of its facilities. Its Lafayette, Ind. facility teamed up with LECU-Lafayette to host students from a local high school, to tour the facility and learn more about manufacturing and take part in presentations by Caterpillar leadership and workshops. Caterpillar’s Franklin, N.C. facility hosted a “Family Day” event that showcased manufacturing, facility tours, innovation displays, “family and fun.” The company also invited Franklin’s Mayor Bob Scott to participate and say a few words “to express the importance of manufacturing to a community.”

Deming, N.M. manufacturers sponsored a bus, which took participants to tours of Compass Components, assembler of custom-designed electrical components used in the transportation, semiconductor, solar-power and medical industries; Solitaire Homes, builder of manufactured homes; St. Clair Winery and Luna Rossa Winery.

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President Obama officially declared Oct. 3 as National Manufacturing Day, bringing more attention to an annual event established in 2012 by manufacturing trade groups, media and industry partners that was designed to address “common misperceptions about manufacturing, as well as what manufacturing is—and what it isn’t.”

The following day, Deming bus tour participants listened to separate presentations by Preferred Produce, a certified organic grower of fruits and vegetables, and Border Foods, the world’s largest processor of green chile peppers, the country’s largest processor of Jalapeno peppers, and a major producer of enchilada sauce. Preferred Produce managers discussed the grower’s business model that delivers products free of chemical pesticides and “just-picked ripe” to consumers. Border Foods managers discussed the company’s new supply chain logistics model from its Deming plant to its multiple warehouses throughout the country.

“Some companies are good at reinvesting in employees, but it’s about helping them become better employees.”

Manufacturing Day events were coordinated by the National Association of Manufacturers and The Manufacturing Institute, along with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Since the first such day in 2012, the number of events have increased eightfold, as more local schools bring their students to the events to make them more aware of the “dynamic, highly-skilled jobs available in modern manufacturing,” according to the official Manufacturing Day website, mfgday.com.

Obama’s proclamation also publicized the administration’s initiative—The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI)—a proposed network of research institutes across the country that will focus on developing and commercializing manufacturing technologies through public-private partnerships between U.S. industry, universities and federal government agencies.

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