Manufacturing Day Helps Change Perception of Industry
Manufacturing Day 2015, including all events scheduled throughout the year, has far exceeded expectations of scale and impact, reaching more than 400,000 participants and improving the public’s perception of manufacturing. Teachers, students, parents/influencers, and employers recently shared their perspectives on Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY®) using the new Deloitte perception survey developed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute. The survey was distributed to more than 2,500 manufacturing hosts across the U.S. to gather national data from teachers, students and parents on how MFG DAY events truly make a difference in local communities. The survey found that after attending MFG DAY events, 81% of student respondents are more convinced manufacturing provides careers that are both interesting and rewarding and 71% are more likely to tell friends, family, parents, or colleagues about manufacturing.
MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG Day, manufacturers begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.
“As manufacturers opened their doors to the public on Manufacturing Day, they shared firsthand the opportunities available in today’s advanced manufacturing environment,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP. “By gathering research through the Manufacturing Day survey, the Manufacturing Day producers can measure the impact Manufacturing Day is having on perception, provide insight into building upon that momentum, and further efforts to improve public perception of manufacturing.”
MFG Day is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and help them coordinate to address their common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.
“The co-producers of Manufacturing Day could not be more pleased with the results of the 2015 celebration,” said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA). “Our goal, when we created Manufacturing Day just three years ago, was to bring manufacturing into the mainstream. We wanted to showcase this important sector of the American economy and introduce young people to the career options and exciting work environments manufacturing offers.”
Educators’ responses to the survey also illustrated the positive impact Manufacturing Day has on public perception. 90% indicated they are more likely to encourage students to pursue a career in manufacturing and 91% found the activities/tours to be interesting and engaging.
“By capturing the impact of a national Manufacturing Day, we can see how it has made a difference in changing the image of the industry,” said Jennifer McNelly, institute executive director. “Every day we aspire to make this industry better than it was yesterday, and the results of the Manufacturing Day survey illustrate how we are improving the image of the industry through Manufacturing Day, and positioning the industry as a rewarding career path for future generations.”
“This survey further demonstrates the changing perception of manufacturing across the country, particularly among young people, and we have events like Manufacturing Day to thank in large part for this positive trend,” said Jay Timmons, National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO. “We appreciate the continued efforts of thousands of manufacturers from across the country to educate students, parents and their communities about the many career opportunities through our industry.”
Manufacturers responding to the survey also expressed positive feedback regarding their participation in Manufacturing Day. 94% found there was value in participating in the event and 88% are more likely to continue engaging with high schools or colleges in their area.
“It is powerful to see that our collective efforts are making a difference in educating the public about manufacturing and its rewarding careers and how we are helping manufacturers throughout the U.S. connect with the next generation workforce” said Carroll Thomas, director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
For MFG Day 2015, a total of 2,620 events were held across North America including all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Based on data collected from host company evaluations, more than 225,000 students and 55,000 parents, teachers and other attendees participated in these live events. Twelve virtual events helped even more people participate, with the Discovery Education and Alcoa online program reporting the largest participation of any single event, with more than 120,000 students. This brings the total number of participants in MFG Day 2015 activities to more than 400,000.
Manufacturing Day 2015 was supported by more than 20 sponsoring companies and organizations. The sponsor list was headed by Platinum sponsor Shell Lubricants and Gold sponsors Alliance for American Manufacturing and SME. In addition, more than 170 organizations endorsed Manufacturing Day and served as the conduit through which information about the event was disseminated.