FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2016
Berks County Launches their First Year with the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” Program
Berks County, PA – October 18, 2016 – The Berks County Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce that the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” program (WSCMBerks) is coming to 17 schools in Berks County.
Presented on the Pennsylvania’s Dream It. Do It. (DIDI PA) platform, the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest gives 8th graders from 13 Berks County school districts the opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way through film media. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students to consider manufacturing career paths. This year, there are 17 middle school teams from Berks County partnered with 17 area-manufacturing companies. The expansion into Berks County reflects the tremendous efforts MRC and Berks County partners have put forth in the community.
“WSCM is an impactful way to try to change people’s minds. The contest positively promotes manufacturing careers that may be the best path for many of our students” says Terri Lampe, Business Development Manager Berks County Manufacturers Resource Center. “The manufacturers are eager to show off the cool technology and products and services at their facilities. They’re very proud of the significant impact their business makes to the economic health and vitality of Berks County and are excited to be part of this inaugural launch of WSCM Berks!”
Armed with a GoPro camera, teacher coach, specific guidelines, curiosity and creativity, each team will tour its respective manufacturer’s location and interview employees to gain a primary understanding of that field. The teams will then take their footage and translate what they find to be cool about that manufacturing company or industry into a short video. Training videos that were created for educators are Emmy award winning.
The students’ video submissions will be posted on DIDI PA’s website and YouTube channel. The videos will be open to the public for voting in March 2017 for the Viewer’s Choice Award, and judges will determine best videos in a variety of other categories. In March 2017 students, parents, educators, manufacturing leaders, community sponsors, local legislators and project partners will gather for an award ceremony to announce and acknowledge winning teams.
The WSCM campaign was started under DIDI PA, the public platform for the manufacturing career awareness partnership led by MRC. Original funding was furnished by grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). In addition to MRC, PBS 39, Da Vinci Science Center, and Sahl Communications, this year’s Berks County partners also include Berks Business-Education Coalition, Berks Career & Technology Center, Berks County Industrial Development Authority, Berks County Intermediate Unit, Berks County Workforce Development Board, Greater Berks Development Fund, Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Greater Reading Economic Partnership, Kutztown University Small Business Development Center, Pottstown High School Career & Tech, Reading Area Community College, and Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center.
Visit dreamitdoitpa.com for more information and resources.
About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing”:
Developed by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), WSCM program is a video based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths in manufacturing. MRC developed this innovative career awareness program that at its core is “peer marketing” (kids telling kids what’s so cool about manufacturing jobs). The contest is showcased on the Dream It Do It PA Website, and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms. The Lehigh Valley contest is expanding across the Commonwealth and the country. Inside Pennsylvania there will be eight regions conducting contests this year.
This contest gives students the opportunity to connect with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths.
About Dream It. Do It. Pennsylvania:
Dream It. Do It. PA is a partnership directed by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown, Pa., and is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in the Keystone State about advanced manufacturing careers. Dream It. Do It. PA started in 2013 as an effort called Lehigh Valley Skill Up to raise awareness in the Lehigh Valley area. The popularity of the partnership’s flagship student video contests and its rights to the national Dream It. Do It. brand for Pennsylvania have enabled it to expand its reach throughout the commonwealth. Dream It. Do It. PA provides resources for Pennsylvania’s students, parents, educators, and manufacturers on the web at dreamitdoitpa.com, efforts of coalitions from other Pennsylvania regions to host video contests and promote advanced manufacturing careers. Original Partners for Dream It. Do It. PA include the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board (LVWDB), Da Vinci Science Center; Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) in Schnecksville, Pa.; PBS39 Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.; Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School (BAVTS) in Bethlehem, Pa.; Career Institute of Technology (CIT) in Easton, Pa; and Carbon Career & Technical Institute (CCTI) in Jim Thorpe, Pa.
About Manufacturers Resource Center:
For nearly 25 years, the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more competitive, adopt lean and agile processes, strategically grow their companies and invest more effectively in their existing human capital. MRC is a nonprofit organization partially funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST-MEP program, as well as the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunity in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.