The Northwest Industrial Resource Center (NWIRC) hosted the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing student video contest this past school year in Erie County. Twelve middle school teams were each paired with a manufacturer to create a video showcasing diverse career opportunities and products being made. If you’d like to see a recap and view some of the photos visit the links or social media below. There were a total of 12 What’s So Cool contests throughout Pennsylvania, with 174 middle school teams, over 600,000 online votes for Viewer’s Choice Awards, and 4300 attending an awards event.

We are gearing up for the 2018/2019 program and are excited to announce new partners and progress:

For the Northwest Contest (Erie and Crawford Counties), we currently have 16 middle school teams in Erie County confirmed and are working to confirm Crawford County teams. Our new partners Crawford County K-12 Career Education Alliance, NWPA-NTMA, and Job Connect will join NWIRC, Career Street, and WQLN to support the program.

The new West Central contest (Mercer and Lawrence Counties) is new this year and NWIRC will partner with the West Central Job Partnership, Penn Northwest Development Corp, and Western Reserve Public Media for the program.

The North Central contest is going on it’s 3rd year and is produced by Workforce Solutions, along with their community partners.

If you are a manufacturer interested in being paired with a middle school team, a company interested in being a sponsor, or educator interested in having your middle school participate with a team, please reach out to Laurie Knoll ( or 814-217-6066).


Here are some resources from 2017/2018:

What’s So Cool Program Website / See Videos

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing: And the Winners Are…

‘What’s So Cool’ Teams from Northwest Contest Invited to State Competition

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