MFD_Logo_nodate_2015_R_ColorManufacturing Day is every day at the Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC). Our mission is to enhance the competitiveness and growth of small- and medium-sized manufacturers in northwest Pennsylvania by helping clients improve productivity and technology performance.

National Manufacturing Day is slated for this Friday, October 2nd! This day of recognition is a coordinated annual event executed at the local level and supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers, and the community at open houses, plant tours and presentations to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers. Governor Tom Wolf has also declared this week as Manufacturing Week in Pennsylvania.

NWIRC is supporting Manufacturing Day with mini-grants for regional technical and vocational public high schools in Northwest PA. “These small grants will offset expenses for schools and enable students to tour local manufacturers on October 2nd.,” said Bob Bengel, President/CEO. NWIRC is also one of many sponsors for the kick-off event hosted by Manufacturers and Business Association on Oct 1 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA. You can plan to visit us at our exhibit if you attend!

About Manufacturing Day

In just three years, National Manufacturing Day has achieved more than 1,600 manufacturing plant tours and events with an estimated 100,000+ attending. Manufacturers in our community will open their doors for special events and tours for both students and the general public. The goal is to inspire the next generation of manufacturing leaders, innovators and workers.

The purpose is for students to learn:

  • What modern manufacturing facilities are really like these days
  • What the companies located in your community make and who they sell to
  • What kinds of jobs are available in manufacturing
  • What skills and education are needed to qualify for today’s manufacturing jobs

“There is an increasing demand for highly skilled professionals in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology,” said Bengel. “The average age of a manufacturing employee is 56, and between now and 2020 there will be an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers who will need to be replaced.” He cited a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte (The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond) which suggests the widening skills gap over the next decade could result in 2 million manufacturing jobs going unfilled. “The goal of Manufacturing Day is to help change the perceptions about manufacturing as a career path,” Bengel said.

About MEPs

One of the initiators of Manufacturing Day is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The NWIRC is part of the MEP network. MEP is built on a nationwide system of centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each center is a partnership between the federal government and a variety of public or private entities, including state, university, and nonprofit organizations. NWIRC is one of 7 MEPs in PA which covers 13 counties in Northwest PA.

NWIRC focuses on advanced manufacturing through 1) manufacturing technology acceleration (like new product development and technology transfer); 2) apprentice program (matching university STEM students with specific manufacturer’s projects); 3) facilitated management services; and 4) training events.