The manufacturing industry has drastically changed in recent years, yet the public’s perception has not. Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), part of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Extension Partnership (PA MEP) and the MEP National Network, found a solution.
After talking to stakeholders throughout Pennsylvania, MRC confirmed what it suspected: manufacturing’s image needed to be addressed and change begun with students before they enter high school. But MRC still struggled with how to reach the younger generation and get them interested in manufacturing careers.
Through a grant from the Pennsylvania department of Community & Economic Development, (DCED)—and a partnership with MRC, Da Vinci Science Center, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) and Lehigh Valley Workforce Board—the “What’s So Cool about Manufacturing” video contest was born.
Middle school students team up with a manufacturer in their community to create a video profile of that manufacturer. The video serves to showcase what the manufacturer produces, how they make their products, and why the company is a great place to work. Once the student team finishes the video, it is reviewed and approved by the manufacturer. All of the videos are then added to the website, www.WhatsSoCool.org, for three days of online viewing and voting by the public.