Launched annually on the first Friday in October, and with events continuing throughout the month, Manufacturing (MFG) Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.
MFG Day, which officially kicks off this year on October 4, is a time for manufacturers to open their doors and open minds, to connect the future workforce to potential employers and to change the narrative around manufacturing. Last year, 275,000 people participated in nearly 3,000 MFG Day events across North America. To show how much the event has grown over the years, there were only 834 events held in 2013.
MFG Day, which was created by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, aims to showcase the diverse career opportunities available in the manufacturing industry and connect with America’s future workforce – students. Across the country, manufacturers will be hosting students of all ages in their facilities. In 2018, more than 80% of students said they became more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers after attending these events.
MFG Day is organized by The Manufacturing Institute, which is the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. The institute drives programs and research to raise awareness, change perceptions about manufacturing and help students translate skills learned in a classroom into fulfilling career opportunities. Learn more and find an event at www.mfgday.com.
Though not affiliated with MFG Day, a commercial heat treater recently did its part to educate the next generation. In July, Souderton, Pa.-based Solar Atmospheres hosted 28 high-school students enrolled in the Summer Engineering Institute (SEI) at Lehigh University. The group also included a few Lehigh University undergraduate students and staff. The program specifically targets under-represented groups including girls, first-generation students and students who might otherwise have limited opportunities to study in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Solar Atmospheres provided a tour of the campus, exhibiting materials and processes for applications in a variety of markets. The students experienced a manufacturing setting encompassing related topics from their curriculum, gaining a better understanding of heat treating and manufacturing and how cutting-edge technology reshapes centuries-old processes.
The event was appreciated by those in attendance. “This field trip opened my eyes to the complexity of the products we use daily,” one student said. “By touring the facility, my horizons were broadened, and I was able to physically understand what manufacturers do daily.”
Heat Treat 2019 Almost Here
Heat Treat 2019, the biennial show from the ASM Heat Treating Society, will be held Oct. 15-17 in Detroit. The three-day event will feature a combination of exhibits, technical programming and networking events. In line with MFG Day, it will also include a free college student program, “This is Heat Treat.”