What’s So Cool About Manufacturing 2020

What's So Cool About Manufacturing 2020

Manufacturing IS Cool!

Students from all over the Lehigh Valley have proven that manufacturing IS cool! For 7 years and counting this has been the goal of the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? (WSCM) video contest. Originally developed by the Manufacturing Resource Center (MRC) located in Allentown, PA, this contest was created to open the doors of local manufacturers while opening the minds of middle school students as they begin to ponder “What do I want to be?”

An unfortunate outdated stigma has attached itself to the idea of working in a factory or manufacturing setting. But just like any other segment of the business world, manufacturers have embraced modernization, welcoming improvements to their operations and facilities and investing in the latest technologies1. Manufacturing today is not about assembly-line jobs that lack the space for talent and creativity to flourish. With the digitization of machinery, manufacturers are looking for young, analytical, innovative, and tech-savvy employees who can help problem-solve and bring greater efficiency to the workplace.

Skilled Labor Shortage

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, the skilled-labor shortage is at an all-time high. “Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become vacant”2. And “89% of manufacturers are leaving jobs unfilled because they can’t find qualified applicants, according to a 2018 Deloitte Institute report.”3 These statistics alone speak to the importance of correcting the negative misconception of careers in manufacturing.

That’s right – careers. Manufacturing is typically not the first to come to mind for most people when choosing a career path, but we ask why not? Here at ICA we have employees who have been with us for nearly 40 years. Some have started out in the warehouse and transitioned to the office (note our “Queen of Polystyrene” segment in the video below! 😉). Others have grown with the company as they proved their dedication and innovation.

The Importance of Manufacturing

There is a place for everyone when it comes to manufacturing and it is so important to keep these roles filled, for where would our world be without manufacturing? Look around you and notice just how many things in your life have come from a manufacturing facility. Would you want to live without them? Manufacturing is imperative to a successful economy, which is why this message to younger generations is so vital. We were more than happy to participate and facilitate this message!

Whats So Cool 2020What an experience it was, from first meeting our South Mountain Middle School student video team back in November to the awards ceremony held at the Artsquest Center at Steelstacks in Bethlehem, PA on February 25th. Over 1,000 people attended the event, with 30 local manufacturers present for networking and informational sessions. The popular “Viewers Choice Award” received a record number of votes – 225,477. This was the first year the ceremony was broadcast live by WFMZ-TV. The winning videos in the region will be considered to represent the Lehigh Valley at the third-annual statewide competition in April.4 “‘This was a great contest and the hard work of the students, teachers and manufacturers is really evident,’ said Rich Hobbs, President and CEO at MRC. ‘Being able to broadcast the awards event live means the results of that hard work have reached so much deeper into the community to raise awareness about manufacturing career opportunities.’”5

REFERENCES

1. https://tdmetal.com/stigmas-realities-affecting-talent-manufacturing-industry/
2. https://tdmetal.com/stigmas-realities-affecting-talent-manufacturing-industry/
3. https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-manufacturing-what-it-is-statistics-and-outlook-3305575
4. https://www.facebook.com/notes/whats-so-cool-about-manufacturing-lehigh-valley/whats-so-cool-about-manufacturing-announces-2020-lehigh-valley-awards/2350127731945452/
5. https://www.facebook.com/notes/whats-so-cool-about-manufacturing-lehigh-valley/whats-so-cool-about-manufacturing-announces-2020-lehigh-valley-awards/2350127731945452/

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

WATCH FULL PROGRAM            VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS!

What's So Cool About Manufacturing Contest Winners

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

This report is brought to you by Insulation Corporation of America (ICA) – a Women-Owned manufacturer of Geofoam and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), which many commonly but mistakenly call Styrofoam™. ICA is located in Allentown, PA and services the entire Mid-Atlantic Region from Virginia to Maine to Ohio.