What’s So Cool About Manufacturing® 6th Annual Statewide Awards takes place at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA

What’s So Cool About Manufacturing® 6th Annual Statewide Awards takes place at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA

 Harrisburg, PA. – May 15th, 2024 – What’s So Cool About Manufacturing® (WSCM) is proud to announce the award recipients for the sixth annual “Best of PA” Statewide Awards Event. The awards show was held at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA, and began at 12:30 pm. This year, the contest included 22 student teams competing for first, second and third place awards, and recognition for the Statewide Viewers Choice winner.

A four-judge panel, viewed the 22 entries, representing 11 regional contests across Pennsylvania and a total of 155 student videos, to select the statewide award recipients.

Photo of Karen Buck

Karen Buck

 “The continued success of the What’s So Cool program validates its effort to generate excitement toward careers in the manufacturing sector and to promote STEM education and technical training among students and parents.” said Karen Buck, Director Workforce Initiatives Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC). “We are so excited and proud to celebrate the Best of PA 2024 student teams and highlight their videos!”

This year’s awards are as follows:

First Place: Broughal Middle School, Bethlehem Area School District in Northampton County featuring Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing

Second Place: Greater Johnstown High School, Johnstown Area School District in Cambria County featuring JWF Industries

Third Place: Bangor Area Middle School, Bangor Area School District in Northampton County featuring C.F. Martin & Co. Inc.

Statewide Viewers Choice recognition: Chestnut Ridge High School, Chestnut Ridge School District in Bedford County featuring Creative Composites Group was recognized for garnering the largest number of regional vote totals across the state, during three days of online voting where all Pennsylvania teams competed to win their regional Viewers Choice Award.

 The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” Student Video Contest, which originated in the Lehigh Valley and is the brainchild of MRC, has garnered over 5,000,000 combined votes by the public during regional online voting dates since its inception in 2013, and more than 60% of Pennsylvania school districts have participated in the program.

The WSCM Student Video Contest gives students the opportunity to interact with local manufacturers as they gain new perspectives about careers and technology, record their experiences, and present them in an educational and “cool” way through documentary video production. The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” program includes a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved lesson plan that is in use across the Commonwealth. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students toward considering manufacturing career paths to create a 21st century workforce.

The 2024 contests in Pennsylvania included 155 middle school teams from 11 regional programs: Berks Schuylkill, Central Susquehanna, Chester Delaware, Lehigh Valley, North Central, Northern Tier, Philadelphia Region, Pittsburgh Central, Pittsburgh East, South Central, and Southern Alleghenies.

Funding for regional contests is provided by community stakeholders.

For more information regarding the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Student Video Contest please visit: WhatsSoCool.org/BestofPA, www.WhatsSoCool.org, https://www.whatssocool.org/video-library/

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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 Lehigh Valley 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 WhatsSoCool.org website and contains over 1200 student videos featuring 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 CTC 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).

MRC logo in Black Burgundy and WhiteAbout 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 www.mrcpa.org.

Kim I Plyler, CEO
SahlComm
+1 484-554-5582
kim@sahlcomm.com

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