WFMZ Will Live Broadcast “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Awards

MRC and WFMZ-TV Team Up to Bring You “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Lehigh Valley, Live – WFMZ-TV Set to Live Broadcast the Popular Student Video Awards Event


February 6, 2020

Kim Plyler 484-554-5582

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. – February 6, 2020 – The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) Lehigh Valley student video contest awards event will be broadcast live on WFMZ-TV on February 25, 2020.

Generous contributions from Air Products Foundation, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley and WFMZ-TV will make it possible for WFMZ-TV to broadcast this year’s awards show live.

“We are pleased to be working with Manufacturers Resource Center to bring this live program to the region. WSCM is doing exceptional work in providing students in the region with insight into career options they may never have considered. The live one-hour program will allow the entire student population in the Lehigh Valley the opportunity to benefit by seeing these career options,” said Barry Fisher, President and General Manager WFMZ-TV.

For the past seven years, WSCM has been fully supported by community sponsors here in the Lehigh Valley.

“The applied experience the middle school students get through our What’s So Cool competition is compelling,” said Laurie Hackett of Air Products. “We appreciate the chance to present the students with exciting opportunities in manufacturing and support their interests in possible future careers.”

“The workforce data speaks for itself. Manufacturing is the second largest demand industry in the Lehigh Valley, employing nearly 11 percent of our workforce and growing,” said Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director Workforce Board Lehigh Valley. “It demands our attention in the form of career pathways and raising awareness to increase the talent pipeline that feeds this critical sector in the Lehigh Valley. What’s So Cool? Manufacturing is Cool!”

Now in its seventh year, the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Lehigh Valley contest gives 7th and 8th graders from 30 schools in Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties the opportunity to team with 30 local manufacturers to document their experiences in educational and “cool” videos. The teams share their visual stories across their school districts, and throughout their communities, to garner votes in order to compete for the Viewers Choice Award. There are ten other award categories reviewed by a panel of judges. Winners from the 16 Pennsylvania contests are then chosen to represent their region in a statewide competition on April 29, 2020 in Harrisburg, Pa.

The contest was created by MRC in the Lehigh Valley in 2013 and has since expanded to 16 regional contests across  Pennsylvania, and its format has been adopted by groups in 14 other states, for the 2019-2020 school year.

“The continued growth of this contest really reflects the tremendous efforts MRC, its partners eMediaWorks, EmpowerStar Marketing and Sahl Communications, Inc., and the teachers and students have put forth in the community in its first seven seasons,” said Rich Hobbs, President and CEO at MRC. “We’re excited by the opportunity to get the student’s videos seen by a wider audience.”

Original funding for “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

Voting for the seventh annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Videos will be available February 19-21, on the What’s So Cool website,

Visit for more information and resources and follow on and
Twitter @wscmlv.


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 and technology 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 What’s So Cool 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 16 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, and CTE and STEM education.

About Manufacturers Resource Center:
For over 30 years, the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more ompetitive, 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.

About WFMZ-TV:
WFMZ-TV is a locally owned station, committed to serving the Greater Lehigh Valley. 69News is the most watched newscast in our region, beating all Philadelphia newscasts. Their team of professionals work every day, around the clock, to bring you the coverage you have come to expect. With a team of five degreed meteorologists, WFMZ also operates The 69News Weather Channel. Online locally, WFMZ-TV leads in social media with over 212,000 Facebook likes, and 129,000 Twitter followers. and the 69News apps deliver over 34 million page views and over 5 million minutes of streaming video each month. Over 2,600 schools, businesses, municipalities and worship centers are part of the 69 News Stormcenter system, providing the region with the most comprehensive, up to the minute closing information. WFMZ is also the home of the top-rated syndocated programs in the country. They also operate their sister station WDPN-TV MeTV2 in Philadelphia which carries the number one classic TV Network in the country.

About Air Products Foundation:
The Air Products Foundation is a separately incorporated 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to build meaningful relationships with charitable organizations that share the values inherent in the Air Products’ higher purpose and enhance the Company’s positive relations with employees, communities, customers and shareholders.

About Workforce Board Lehigh Valley:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has designated Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Northeast Pennsylvania as the Lehigh Valley Workforce Area in accordance with provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Vision of the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley is the Lehigh Valley has a world class workforce. The Mission is a private-sector led, integrated, regional workforce system of economic and workforce development, education and community partners working to
ensure the Lehigh Valley has an educated and skilled workforce that meets business and industry’s labor demands. The WBLV’s strategy is to continually prepare an educated and skilled workforce to support regional economic growth and economic self-sufficiency to ensure the Lehigh Valley has a world- class competitive workforce, this begins with the WIOA key provisions that create opportunities for economic and career success for workers, and opportunities to improve workforce development and adult education and training systems.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Don’t see what you are looking for or have a question? MRC can help. Contact us today!

Training and Certifications

MRC provides far more than certifications and funding assistance. We offer job creators access to specialized coaching, mentorship and a variety of business and marketing assistance normally outside the reach of most manufacturers.


No matter what’s happening with your business, MRC has probably seen it. We know the problems that keep CEOs up at night, and we know how to help solve them. Our staff has more than 100 years of combined experience working side-by-side with business owners to evaluate, strategize, discover and implement solutions that address both strategic growth needs and organizational transformation.

Training & Events Calendar

MRC breaks down the barriers that prohibit manufacturers from realizing their full potential. Our proven tactics and methods can help nearly any company at nearly any stage of its evolution. Whatever the hurdle – going green, becoming lean, entering new markets, rebranding the company – MRC can help you clear it.

Workforce Initiatives

Developing Future Workforce with programs like: What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®, PA Dream Team, the Inside Manufacturing Series, and Manufacturing Day.


Through our partnerships, we are able to bring the horsepower of the best-in-breed experts to you. Imagine having access to the second-largest technology institute in the world, a corps of ex-Toyota executives trained under the best Lean practitioners in the world or world-renowned business strategy groups. MRC makes it possible.

About Us

For over 30 years, 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.

My Account

Ready to complete your event registration? Need to confirm the date of a previous registration? Find all these details here or call us at (610) 628-4640 for additional assistance.