As if economic uncertainty, supply chain interruptions and other challenges related to COVID-19 weren’t enough, manufacturers across the country continue to grapple with a shortage of skilled labor. With many manufacturing employees in the later stages of their careers and nearing retirement, the shortage of skilled manufacturing talent is not expected to self-correct anytime soon. In fact, the National Institute of Standards and Technology estimates that U.S. companies will need to hire over four million technically skilled employees over the next decade, and half of these positions could go unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers.
To help solve this problem, the Manufacturing Institute arm of the National Association of Manufacturers created National Manufacturing Day to bring attention to the growing skill shortage in this sector of the economy, inspire the next generation of manufacturers and educate the public on the importance of the role manufacturing plays in our daily lives. This nationwide celebration showcases employment opportunities as well as manufacturing technology and capabilities by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions to connect with students, parents, teachers and community leaders. The goal is to promote the availability of high-paying jobs for those with the required technology-related skills.
The priorities of National Manufacturing Day are to:
- Change the perception of careers in manufacturing to reflect its true status as an advanced, high-tech industry.
- Re-establish the U.S. as the global leader of manufacturing education.
- Advocate for education and job training policies that strengthen the U.S. manufacturing workforce.
By recognizing National Manufacturing Day on October 1, we honor the manufacturing industry and the importance of this sector to the economy. An annual tribute held on the first Friday in October, National Manufacturing Day not only highlights the significance of manufacturing to this country’s economic well-being, but works to attract talent to this sector which continues to struggle to find enough skilled workers.
On National Manufacturing Day many companies give the public an inside look at manufacturing through plant tours, events and open houses. Regardless of the type of event, the holiday’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of manufacturing in our economy and help to create a steady pipeline of qualified workers.
The manufacturing industry is vital to the American economy, and the sector drives economic growth and fosters the creation of millions of jobs in American factories, supply chains, and professional and support services. National Manufacturing Day addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and demonstrate what manufacturing is—and what it isn’t.
There are many opportunities beyond National Manufacturing Day for organizations to get involved and celebrate the importance of manufacturing to our economy. Any organization can take up the important work of educating and encouraging people to pursue careers in one of the many branches of manufacturing.
To find out more about National Manufacturing Day and how you can get involved any time of year, visit the Manufacturing Institute website at www.themanufacturinginstitute.org or the National Manufacturing Day website at www.creatorswanted.org/mfgday.