Kick off of 8th Year of “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Berks Schuylkill County Teams

Kicking off MRC’s 8th Year of “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” 2023/24 Berks Schuylkill County Student-Manufacturer Teams

MRC and Local Manufacturers continue to spread Awareness of Manufacturing Careers in Berks and Schuylkill Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      November 7, 2023

Reading, PA –November 7, 2023– The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce the 8th year of “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” (WSCM) in Berks and Schuylkill counties where MRC promotes CTE and STEM education in middle school communities.  This program heightens awareness for young people to be exposed to various manufacturing career paths.

Rich Hobbs

Rich Hobbs

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” student video contest provides 7th and 8th graders a unique opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers as they use their curiosity and creativity to develop, shoot, edit and produce a “cool” video to document their experiences.  The contest is spearheaded by Manufacturers Resource Center. “MRC is proud to bring What’s So Cool About Manufacturing to the Berks and Schuylkill counties for its 8th year” states Rich Hobbs, MRC President & CEO. “The program’s continued success and impact can be attributed to the efforts the teachers and students have put forth, along with the many partners and community sponsors committed to building a future workforce which will in turn support economic growth and expansion in the region,” Hobbs concludes.

Student teams will partner with manufacturers in eleven regions across Pennsylvania this year, where videos will compete first in regional contests and then in the annual Statewide Awards in Harrisburg.  The statewide program is spearheaded by Manufacturers Resource Center.

Student teams from 28 Berks and Schuylkill County middle schools are partnering with 28 area manufacturers to produce their video submissions.  All videos will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website, and will be open to the public for voting March 8-10, 2024 for the Viewers Choice Award. The Berks Schuylkill Awards Event is scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2024 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Reading, PA. The program’s continued success and growth can be attributed to the efforts the teachers and students have put forth in the community, along with MRC and its partners Kutztown Small Business Development Center, eMediaWorks and Sahl Communications, Inc., and the many community sponsors committed to its sustainability.

Karen Buck Photo

Karen Buck

This year, we are excited to announce the following participating schools and the featured manufacturers they are paired with: “We are thrilled to kick off year eight of the WSCM program in Berks and Schuylkill,” said Karen Buck, Director of Workforce Initiatives for MRC.  “The potential for exciting careers in manufacturing is demonstrated to the community through profile videos of the manufacturers. The students get excited about new career options and the possibility of working in a cool manufacturing environment.  We encourage students to foster that excitement by exploring CTE and STEM education as they prepare for their high school years. The program creates limitless opportunities for both program  manufacturers and students.” Visit and WSCM Video Library for more information and resources.   

List of Berks and Schuylkill County Teams###-

About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®”:
Developed 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 contest 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 almost 1200 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 34 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.

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


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