A recent U.S. News and World Report story indicated the importance of manufacturing jobs in order for the U.S. to remain competitive in the global market. While there is a surplus of manufacturing jobs available, part of the challenge for manufacturing business leaders in attracting young talent lies in correcting the stigma associated with work in the industry.
Discover Manufacturing Today Video Challenge, a Michigan program, aims to promote careers in manufacturing among high school students by showing them the opportunities and clearing up misconceptions about the industry.
West Michigan manufacturers, workforce and economic development agencies and educational institutions came together for the second year to host the “Discover Manufacturing Today Video Challenge,” a program led by The Right Place.
The goal of the challenge is to provide high school students to the modern manufacturing industry and counter any negative typecasts that might have previously existed. The video challenge offers a cash prize to the most popular and best student-produced videos highlighting the best in manufacturing careers. Using www.discover-manufacturing.com and Facebook as the programs for the competition provided an easy way to share the message of the competition. Students and their friends, who produced videos for the challenge were able to share and promote their videos with the hope of receiving more (“Likes”) online votes .
The contest consisted of 41 teams of eager students who submitted videos from area high schools. Over twenty West Michigan-based manufacturers participated in the program and opened their doors to the students.
This year’s theme was, “The countless paths into manufacturing careers.” Manufacturers have learned that students and parents may not understand just how many routes exist to enter manufacturing, and once in, the multiple growth opportunities that exist to build a great career.
The competition culminated with a screening premiere at a Celebration! Cinema in Grand Rapids on April 30th. Over 150 students, parents, companies, and schools attended the award ceremony to view videos on the big screen and celebrate the winning entries. The winning teams were Future in Manufacturing, from Rockford High School and Imagine More from, Careerline Tech.
As a growing manufacturing community, our Huron Township LDFA congratulates this initiative and hopes that more South Eastern Michigan high schools embrace this opportunity in the years to come.