Developing Future Workforce
“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) is led by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) and is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes about advanced manufacturing careers. “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” started in 2013 as an effort called “Lehigh Valley Skill Up” to raise awareness in the Lehigh Valley area. The WhatsSoCool.org website is the platform where many workforce initiatives are showcased and now expands its reach throughout the Commonwealth.
What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Student Video Contest
“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” (WSCM) is a dynamic student video contest created by consortium partners in the Lehigh Valley, led by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), that is introducing hundreds of middle school students to exciting Advanced Manufacturing career paths. Held annually since its creation in 2013, middle school student teams representing their local school districts are paired with pre-selected manufacturers over the 4-month contest period. Each team receives a GoPro camera, a teacher-coach, and hands-on training in videography and editing. The students are free to film, edit, and produce a short video highlighting their assigned company’s manufacturing technology, employees, and products. Local media personalities judge all competing videos for “Emmy” type award categories, and online voters—over 100,000 each year–determine the coveted “Viewer’s Choice” Award. Original funding was partially furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Pennsylvania contests and resources are available on the Dream It Do It PA Website, and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms.
Lehigh Valley Contest: https://WhatsSoCool.org/contests/lehigh-valley-contest/
Video Library: https://www.whatssocool.org/video-library/
PA Dream Team
The Dream It. Do It. PA Dream Team is a group of young employees with successful STEM careers at advanced manufacturing Pennsylvania companies. These innovative young adults are the faces and stories that represent their industry and job profession among students. Dream Team members are selected from sponsor companies to represent the best and brightest young professionals in their company. Companies with Dream Team members include Air Products & Chemicals, ATAS International, B Braun Medical, Bosch Rexroth Corporation, Lehigh Valley Plastics, Lutron Electronics, Ocean Spray, PPL Electric and Victaulic. Teachers can schedule a Dream Team classroom visit online at:
Inside Manufacturing Series
The Manufacturers Resource Center has partnered with PBS39 to create an online video series, “Inside Manufacturing”.
Very few have seen what advanced manufacturing facilities look like on the inside. The Inside Manufacturing (IM) Series opens the doors to area companies revealing the technology, career opportunities and modern work environments that are characteristic of today’s manufacturing companies.
Each one-minute video was edited and created using the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? Student Video Contest footage filmed by area eighth grade students. For four years Lehigh Valley students have researched area companies to find out what a job is like in manufacturing and to showcase their discoveries to their peers through media presentation. Interested in opening your doors for a private tour with area high school students?” Contact Karen Buck, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Although Manufacturing Day officially occurs on the first Friday in October, Manufacturers Resource Center invites area manufacturers to open their doors for private tours with local high school students during the month of October. In addition to tours, MRC created the Inside Manufacturing Online Series, and assists with the Manufacturing Symposium.
MRC will also schedule tours throughout the year as requested.
Cool Resources for Manufacturers, Parents, Students and Educators
Resources for manufacturing careers and the skills needed for those careers are housed on the WhatsSoCool.org website:
Cool Careers for Students
Resources for Educators
How Manufacturers Can Help