Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 43
another organization is getting involved in the manufacturing
institute's effort to attract more young people to manufacturing
The Manufacturing Institute and Spring Manufacturers Institute
(SMI) are partnering to bring more young students into the manufacturing industry. SMI is one of just two industry associations that have joined
the Institute's Dream It. Do It. program, which aims to raise awareness of
careers in manufacturing.
Through this partnership, SMI and its members will have
access to market-tested materials targeting young people, parents and teachers about a career in modern manufacturing.
The Dream It. Do It. program will be a key element in SMI's ongoing strategy to reach youth. The strategy includes organizing
plant tours and school visits on Manufacturing Day in October
2017, as well as growing a network of industry "champions" to
lead youth activities in regions across the country.
"We believe the Dream It. Do It. program is a game changer in
the way we connect with the next generation pipeline of young
people needed to support our businesses in the future," says
SMI president Mike Betts, who is also the chairman and CEO
of Fresno, Calif.-based Betts Company. "Attracting talented
students to careers in manufacturing is critically important to
the ongoing success of SMI member companies."
Jim Parsons, senior vice president, Myers Spring, is serving
as SMI's Dream It. Do It. champion. "Spring manufacturing offers a large range of opportunities for students to get involved
and make things that matter. With advanced technology, this
industry provides higher-paying jobs with good career advancement paths and clean work environments," Parsons says.
More than 20 SMI ambassador companies are already partic-
ipating in Manufacturing Day tours and Dream it. Do It. activities in several markets.
"Today's manufacturing is about advanced technologies,
state of the art facilities, and fast paced work environments,"
The Manufacturing Institute says. "But most of all, manufacturing is about those people who like to see the product of a
hard day's work. However, this is not the impression of manufacturing that is held by many Americans today. Only 35 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to
pursue careers in manufacturing, despite the advanced skills
and high pay that are characteristic of work in today's advanced
manufacturing industry. This is due to a perception of manufacturing that existed a generation ago but does not represent
the current reality of the industry.
To put an end to this misperception, The Manufacturing Institute launched the Dream It. Do It. network in 2005. Dream
It. Do It. works to change the perception of the industry and inspire next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers.
Members of the Dream It. Do It. program gain access to national
support and resources to aid their pro-manufacturing efforts
and join a network of industry leaders that implement activities
to meet local, regional and statewide workforce needs. mt
MAY/JUNE 2017 manufacturing-today.com 43