Industry Today has long been an advocate of Manufacturing Day, featuring coverage of many events held to promote modern manufacturing.

The eighth annual Manufacturing Day is upcoming on October 2nd. This highly popular initiative to educate students and prospective employees about careers in modern manufacturing is sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute and founding partner, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA).

Traditionally held on the first Friday of October, Manufacturing Day kicks off a series events and open houses that showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers aimed at students, teachers, parents, job seekers and local community members.

Industry Today has long been an advocate of Manufacturing Day. Over the years, we’re featured extensive coverage of the many events held to promote modern manufacturing as well as interviews with key sponsors. In getting ready for this year’s Manufacturing Day, it’s helpful to look back at what inspired its inception and how we’ve progressed.

One myth about modern manufacturing that needed addressing is the perception of factory jobs as boring, repetitive tasks performed in harsh and dirty environments. In fact, automation has largely eliminated these conditions. Yet another popular misconception is that automation has cost people jobs. Actually, automation has actually created new and more rewarding jobs that address a range of continually evolving modern manufacturing challenges.

“We’re not living in 1970 anymore,” said Manufacturing Day founder Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the FMA. “Today’s modern manufacturing workplace employs sophisticated technology that requires highly skilled workers. In fact, we’re using the very same kind of devices—mobile phones, iPads, laptops—that students use every day in their personal and educational lives. One thing we hope to show during Manufacturing Day is how familiar much of what we do already is to them.”

Manufacturing Day also strives to attract more women to a traditionally male-dominated industry. According to a Deloitte study, only 29 percent of manufacturing employees are women, despite the fact that women make up 47 percent of the U.S. population. Manufacturing Day and related promotions are beginning to close this gender gap.

And the opportunities are there. According to the 2019 Job Openings and Labor Turnovers Survey conducted by the Department of Labor, there are more than half a million jobs opening in manufacturing.

The upcoming Manufacturing Day and associated events are designed to attract much needed talent to these high paying careers in manufacturing. In looking forward to this year’s proceedings, Industry Today continues our ongoing commitment to spreading the word about the latest developments in modern manufacturing.