One area of concern for many Utah business leaders is manufacturing. That industry is key to almost every other industry. And it is also essential to Utah’s healthy economy.
“From diapers to doughnuts, rockets to blenders, electronics to medical devices, and parts for airplanes and other items — all of these are manufactured here,” said Todd Bingham, president of the Utah Manufacturers Association.
But as Bingham explains, Utah manufacturers are having a hard time hiring and retaining employees.
“We don’t believe millennials have a negative image of manufacturing; they have no image of it. They really don’t see manufacturing. They buy these products every day, they consume them, but they don’t see that they are manufactured inside four walls,” Bingham said. “We want them to have a better knowledge that they are surrounded by things that were made, and those are great jobs.”
Hundreds of manufacturers in Utah have been working together to change those sentences. Through a recent $250,000 grant and in-kind contributions provided by the Department of Workforce Services and Utah manufacturers, local companies and post-secondary institutions piloted a comprehensive statewide outreach and messaging campaign, “Make Manufacturing Your Future.”
The campaign was social media-based with messaging and videos centered on the hashtag #exploremfg. Bingham said the messaging introduced millennials to career opportunities in the field that require just starting on a line in a manufacturing facility, or need training through education programs that last anywhere from just one to four years.