Intern Journal #5: Manufacturing Really is Cool

Posted by Tyler Winston on

What’s so cool about manufacturing? Nothing? Think again.

Historically speaking, the manufacturing industry doesn’t have the best reputation. It is a common misconception that manufacturing jobs are dirty, dangerous, and require little skill. In the past, this may have been the case. However, manufacturing has since stepped into the 21st century with new technologies.

Still, a negative stigma remains. Manufacturing companies now face a significant skills gap over the next decade, largely fueled by baby boomer retirement and too few young people who see the industry as a career destination.

For the third consecutive year, Dream It. Do It. Pennsylvania has teamed up with Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) change that perception by asking middle school students, "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?"

The 2016 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest challenged middle school teams to create short video profiles of manufacturers throughout the Lehigh Valley to find out why they love their jobs. Let me tell you, these videos certainly changed my idea of what manufacturing is.

Thirty middle school teams from Lehigh, Northampton, Schuylkill, and Carbon counties gathered alongside manufacturing companies, parents, and sponsors Tuesday evening, Feb. 23, to showcase their finished products and celebrate the hard work of the students with an award ceremony. There were a handful of awards given out, from “Outstanding Videography” to “Outstanding Creativity." Truly, however, all 30 teams left as winners.

2016 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Winners
Outstanding Videography: Northern Lehigh (Atlas Machining and Welding)
Outstanding Editing: Schuylkill Haven (Cardinal Systems)
Outstanding Creativity: Nazareth (Martin Guitar)
Outstanding Cool: East Penn (Smooth-On)
Outstanding Team Spirit: Parkland (ProtoCAM)
Outstanding Marketing Plan: Tamaqua (Highwood USA)
Outstanding Educational Value: Nitschmann [BASD] (American Millwork & Cabinetry) and Palmerton (Blue Ridge Pressure Castings)
Outstanding Program: Broughal [BASD] (Just Born Quality Confections)
Viewers Choice: Northampton (Piramal Critical Care)

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