Manufacturing Day is held on the first Friday of October. Organized by the National Association of Manufacturers, the nationwide event seeks to increase awareness among students, parents, educators and the general public about modern manufacturing and to make it clear that there are many career opportunities, in addition to pointing out that manufacturing has changed dramatically — it is cleaner, with advanced technology, and far more hip than its smokestack past.
Most states do as the name suggests — have a one day event filled with factory tours and event presentations. But in New Mexico, they run Manufacturing Day for the entire month.
The New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) organizes and sponsors events and a 3-Day Advanced Manufacturing Summit (that link takes you to each day’s virtual presentations on YouTube).
Mel Cossette, Executive Director and Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education funded Online Instructional Resources for Material Science Technology Education (home of MatEdU News) housed at Edmonds College in Lynnwood, WA, presented on Workforce Development. She is also the Co-PI on a newly funded NSF ATE Micro Nano Technology Education Center and Co-PI on the MANEUVER Project with Purdue Northwest. Mel has 20+ years of experience in manufacturing education focusing on technician education and workforce development.
Ms. Cossette opened with the importance of embracing the future workforce, with all of its changes and opportunities. As you can see in the image above, people are searching for manufacturing jobs. She then went through a variety of manufacturing areas and how they all lead to growth in manufacturing as a career:
- Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing)
- ASTM and technician training and core competencies (and how the Technician Education in Additive Manufacturing & Materials — TEAMM was a big part of defining those new standards)
- Manufacturing Workforce and new skills needed
She highlighted a variety of statistics to help attendees wrap their minds around just how big and vast the manufacturing job market is:
- Preliminary numbers indicate there will be 942,000 manufacturing job openings – from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 2021.
- Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute (NAM) reported — 2.4 million manufacturing jobs may go unfilled by 2028.
“To be prepared, not only for today’s jobs but for those of a rapidly changing, highly automated future, technicians will need skills beyond those required by their specific role and industry,” she said.
In summary, Ms. Cossette said that “we need to embrace the future of the manufacturing workforce… as the start of my presentation I heard this cool comment made by one of the manufacturing folks here. Powell has said, manufacturing is a cool career. I agree.”