Elizabeth Engler Modic, Editor, emodic@gie.net

Happy Manufacturing Month 2017!

I have an affinity for manufacturing. Just ask my kids and their teenage friends – it’s possible that I may be known to talk enthusiastically to anyone willing to listen and learn about manufacturing’s contribution to everything. So, now that October is here, everyone involved in the industry has a full month to promote all the positives manufacturing brings to the economy – regionally and nationally – spurring the next generation to consider this for a career.

The first Friday in October is officially MFG DAY and this year it’s Oct. 6, 2017. Participants are encouraged to hold events that day and throughout the month. Produced annually by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with key contributions and support from the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the Manufacturing Institute (MI), MFG DAY started in 2012 with 240 scheduled events. In 2014, President Obama recognized Manufacturing Day with a proclamation declaring Oct. 2, 2014, National Manufacturing Day, repeating that in 2016 along with 147 local and state lawmakers.

Last year, more than 2,800 official MGF DAY events were planned. At the writing of this editorial, with just less than a month to go, nearly 2,100 events have been confirmed. For this celebration of manufacturing, companies invest time and people to spark the next machinist from a student who may visit that day.

NYMAT Machine Tool is one of the companies. Jim McGaffin, sales manager at the company, told me that NYMAT will be opening their Haas Factory Outlet to high school juniors and seniors on MFG DAY for what they have titled Career Paths in Manufacturing. NYMAT Machine Tools employees will present students with examples of career opportunities based on precision machining that include:

  • Skilled machinist and apprentice training
  • Design & programming with CAD/CAM
  • Service technician training in mechatronics
  • Part & logistics with opportunities in supply chain management
  • Sales & management opportunities with machine tool and tooling builders, distributors, finished parts suppliers, robotics, and automation

Adding to the day-long event for students – in addition to lunch – will be demonstrations of 5-axis machining and an emphasis on the breadth of opportunities available in precision machining, showing students the variety of career paths available.

While this is just one example of plans for MFG DAY, NYMAT, like many other companies, works to promote manufacturing even when it’s not proclaimed a national day. Charlie Phillips, sales and marketing manager at Penn United, wrote me recently to let me know how founder and CEO Carl Jones started an apprentice program in 1973, developing it throughout the years into the current training program. At the L.I.G.H.T. – Learning Institute for Growth of Higher Technology facility it built in 1999, the company provides training for employees, customers, and the community while also working with local vocational programs and colleges to offer hands-on learning with a focus on creating long-term job opportunities.

So, what did you do for MFG DAY/MFG MONTH in 2017? ~ Elizabeth