Every fall, manufacturing companies across the country open their doors to students for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day)—demonstrating the diverse career opportunities manufacturers provide. Over the years, MFG Day has highlighted modern manufacturing careers for students across the country. Due to the complexities surrounding the pandemic this year, MFG Day not only went virtual but it also expanded to a month-long event—allowing Michigan’s automotive companies created new opportunities to reach students near and far.
MFG Day is led by the Manufacturing Institute, which cites the need for more than 4.6 million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade. This has led to a collective effort by manufacturers across the nation to address industry challenges and ensure opportunities are available to help communities and future generations thrive.
“Work force development is a key need in our industry, and we are committed to educating the next generation of leaders and skilled tradespeople about the many careers manufacturing and its support functions have to offer,” said Daryl Adams, President and CEO of The Shyft Group, a Novi-based national leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing, assembly, and upfit for the commercial, retail, and service specialty vehicle markets. “For us, this is a chance to share our passion for manufacturing with students, learn about their goals, and explore what’s next for the industry. As such, it’s one of our favorite events, and we’re excited to share our enthusiasm for our business and for manufacturing.”
The Shyft Group participated in MFG Day for the fourth year, hosting a virtual event for students and offering them the opportunity to hear directly from engineers, team leaders, assemblers, and talent specialists about careers at Shyft and its family of go-to-market brands.
National Manufacturing Day, which received an official presidential proclamation in 2019, occurs every year on the first Friday in October and extends through the end of the month. This year, MFG Day organizers placed a strong emphasis on engaging digital and virtual events to highlight manufacturing careers that have been at the heart of some of the most impactful work being done in response to the pandemic.
“We know that students are learning differently this fall, so we wanted to make sure the Oakland County Manufacturing Day was still accessible for students,” said David Coulter, Oakland County Executive. “Historically, the highlight of this day was for students to tour manufacturing operations and see first-hand the exciting and high-wage careers in advanced manufacturing including robotics, automation, programming, welding, machining, and more. While that’s not possible in 2020, we were pleased to have eight companies in Oakland County hosting virtual tours.”
Oakland County alone virtually hosted 700 students who “toured” companies such as Brose North America, a global automotive component supplier. Team members from Brose’s New Boston manufacturing plant gave students an inside look into plant operations, while answering questions and offering advice on mentorship and recommended school courses.
By transforming the annual tradition of manufacturing open houses into a series of virtual events, this year’s MFG Day afforded new opportunities for more connections, reach, and participation across the industry.
“MFG Day has always been a great way for Michigan’s automotive companies to raise awareness of career opportunities and build a relationship with local students as part of their workforce development pipeline,” said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto. “This year there was an added bonus with the virtual events that allowed the industry to further expand our reach to outside the region and outside the state in hopes of luring talent to Michigan’s signature industry.”
For more information on Manufacturing Day and to review this year’s materials, visit www.creatorswanted.org/mfgday.