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NAM launches a $10 million campaign ahead of 2020 to make manufacturing jobs more appealing

By James Hohmann, for The Washington Post

Jul 10, 2019

The National Association of Manufacturers, the industry’s main trade group, plans to unveil a $10 million initiative that’s aimed at changing public attitudes about its sector to make it seem more modern and to highlight opportunities for upward mobility. The effort has been timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential campaign and the association’s 125th anniversary.

Private polling commissioned recently by NAM found that just 27 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing. Their goal is to get that up to 50 percent by 2025. “It’s the largest campaign that we've ever undertaken of this sort,” said Jay Timmons, the president and chief executive of the trade association. “If we can have one out of every two parents saying, 'Yeah, I'd like to see my child at least entertain the thought of going into manufacturing,’ we'd consider that a huge win.”

With the slogan “Creators Wanted,” the initiative entails a year-long nationwide digital campaign, a mobile road show that will visit between 20 to 25 states over 18 weeks and culminate with a large festival during September 2020 in Cincinnati, where the association was founded in 1895, just as Ohio reemerges as a battleground in the general election.

NAM also plans to spend at the major political events of 2020, such as the debates and the party nominating conventions, to showcase individual stories of people who have succeeded in manufacturing, especially rank-and-file workers who got promoted through the ranks to become executives. Money will also go into the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliated 501(c)(3) that focuses on workforce development. That will fund outreach to middle and high schools.

Read the full story, "NAM launches a $10 million campaign ahead of 2020 to make manufacturing jobs more appealing," at


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