Berks & Schuylkill Sponsors Support What’s So Cool 8th Annual Video Contest

“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Sponsors Continue Support for 8th Annual Contest
Berks & Schuylkill County Video Contest Celebrates Growth, Recognition, and Raising Awareness of PA Manufacturing Careers

Kim Plyler

Reading, PA – Wednesday, February 21, 2024 – Celebrating eight years in Berks and Schuylkill Counties, the 2024 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Student Video Contest welcomes 26 manufacturers and middle school teams. Since its inception, this local contest format, created by Manufacturers Resource Center, has been replicated by sixteen regional contests, and adopted by stakeholders in 11 additional states. Top state officials have recognized the program, and dozens of sponsors continue to support “What’s So Cool,” making it possible year after year.

What's So Cool logo in purple and orangeThe program’s goal is to increase awareness of manufacturing careers by showcasing “What’s So Cool” about today’s technology and career opportunities at manufacturers right here in our region. Student teams produce a two-minute profile video of their partnered manufacturer and create an Outreach Plan strategizing how to share their final video with their school community. All videos will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website and will be open to the public for voting April 8-10, 2024 for the Viewers Choice Award. The Berks Schuylkill Awards Event is scheduled for April 15, 2024 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading. The show will be filmed by BCTV.

The program’s continued success and growth are attributed to the efforts the teachers and students have put forth in the community since its inception. MRC and its partners Kutztown Small Business Development Center, eMediaWorks, Sahl Communications, Inc., and many community sponsors remain committed to the sustainability of the program.

Educational media resources, technology, professional media training, materials, and project costs were funded and made possible by the following: 

Leadership Sponsor: & WiM 

Technology Sponsor: Berks County Workforce Development Board 

Event Sponsor: Customers Bank 

Platinum Sponsors: Berks County Industrial Development Authority, East Penn Manufacturing Company, EMD Electronics, Kutztown Small Business Development Center, Manufacturers Resource Center, Reading Truck, and Univest Financial

Gold Sponsors: American Crane & Equipment Corporation, Clearly Clean, County of Berks, DeLux Dental Laboratory, eMediaWorks, Fulton Bank, Hydro, M&T Bank, Mitsubishi Chemical Group, Reading Area Community College, Reading Bakery Systems, Sahl Communications, Inc., Tompkins Community Bank, Unique Snacks, Viwinco, Inc., and Weidenhammer 

Silver Sponsors: Aerotek, American Polarizers, Inc, Arkema, Blaschak Anthracite, Brentwood Industries, Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC, Cardinal Systems, Inc., Eagle Metals, Fromm Electric, Gage Personnel, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Hexcel, MISCO Products, Morgan Truck, Prysmian Group-Schuylkill Haven, Penn State Berks, Sweet Street Desserts, Inc., and The Rose Corporation

Bronze Sponsors: Berks Career & Technology Center, Berks County Intermediate Unit, PhytogenX, Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center, Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, Schuylkill County Intermediate Unit, and Schuylkill Technology Center

Media Sponsors: BCTV, Lamar, Lehigh Valley Business Journal, Reading Eagle, and WFMZ 69 News

Visit for more information and follow on social media @WSCMBerksSchuyl.


About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®”:

What's So Cool logo in purple and orangeDeveloped by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the WSCM program is a video-based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths and technology in manufacturing through “peer marketing” (kids telling kids what’s so cool about manufacturing jobs). The contest is showcased on the What’s So Cool Website and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms. The MRC community career awareness program has expanded across the Commonwealth and the country. 

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” comprehensive manufacturing video library was created by MRC and WSCM PA in 2020 and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED). The interactive library of the who’s who in Pennsylvania manufacturing, garnered from the yearly regional contests, is intended to serve as an educational resource for anyone curious about manufacturing in Pennsylvania. The library can be accessed through the website and contains 1128 student videos featuring over 600 Pennsylvania manufacturers.

This contest allows students 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, and CTE and STEM education. Original funding for “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED). 

About Manufacturers Resource Center:

For 35 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 and the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunities in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. Learn more at

Kim I Plyler, CEO
SahlComm+1 484-554-5582

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