October 04, 2022 by Robert Willig The effort to generate interest in manufacturing to attract the next generation of innovative thinkers is crucial. Companies across multiple industry sectors have increased their investment in automation and technology solutions. Their dedication to these types of productivity enhancements shows commitment to invest in the future of their business and in turn, create an environment that attracts new and inspired employees. The world of manufacturing is evolving. Implementation of industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing technology advancements is accelerating, transforming manufacturing and driving levels of competitiveness never seen before. A report for the McKinsey Global Institute suggests the revitalization of manufacturing could add up to 1.5 million jobs, particularly among middle-skill workers, which would help recalibrate the US labor market and bolster the middle class. SME plays a key role in this process through the development of products and resources specifically created to support the manufacturing community. SME promotes manufacturing success via the adoption of current and new technologies and processes and advances the continuous development of a skilled workforce. The reality is that innovations in manufacturing not only help create jobs and support production and efficiency, but they improve the overall employee experience. These types of innovations are on full display during Manufacturing Day. Capital High School (Montana) participate in MFG Day 2018. SME is proud to join MFG Day and help raise awareness of all the amazing benefits offered by a career in manufacturing. Throughout October, SME is hosting programming that celebrates Manufacturing Day (and Month) and careers in manufacturing. There will be a series of traditional webinars along with shop talks focusing on key and emerging industry-related topics. Manufacturing subject-matter experts are invited to share industry insights and testimonials related to manufacturing. Continuing the conversation about how industry professionals found their place within manufacturing is a great way to attract the next generation, seeking a career in a STEM-related field. Programming like this helps convey a clear picture of what manufacturing truly looks like today. Learn more about Manufacturing Day and month powered by SME. As the manufacturing industry works to address the worker shortage, we must embrace the challenge to attract and retain a more diverse talent pool. A study from Deloitte Insights identified a promising trend that manufacturing companies are “increasingly focused on bolstering the representation of women and other racially and ethnically diverse people in the workforce,” and that appealing to the next generation of manufacturing talent is a key focus moving forward. While we are making progress in attracting a more diverse group, there is much more to do in this area. The opportunities are there, but it’s our responsibility as industry leaders to highlight the wonderful possibilities a career in manufacturing offers. In fact, data from the U.S. Department of Commerce confirms that a career in manufacturing can be financially rewarding. On average, manufacturing workers earn 21% more than the median income for all workers, and women in manufacturing earn 16% more than the median income for all workers. Cazenovia High School engineering students training with modern manufacturing equipment Organizations like SME have the responsibility to expose next-generation makers to the significant benefits of a manufacturing career. We do this through strategic efforts on several levels. The SME Education Foundation supports tomorrow's workforce to build awareness of opportunity and availability of academic support. It directly helps students at every level, offering a path to explore, learn and grow within manufacturing. Partnering with other manufacturing associations in a collaborative effort on programs like MFG Day creates a multiplier effect and significantly accelerates this effort. MFG Day is just one opportunity to inspire and encourage the next generation to start careers in STEM-related fields. With events happening across the United States all month long, this is an opportunity to promote modern manufacturing to students, parents, and educators. SME’s mission aligns with the goals of MFG Day and continues to focus on the promotion of manufacturing technology and developing a skilled workforce. We are proud to support industry partners in these efforts, inspiring young people to explore manufacturing opportunities and careers in STEM is critical.