Why do we love Manufacturing Day (MFGDAY) day so much?

Manufacturing day
High degree of engagement and interest

Held annually on the first Friday in October, Manufacturing Day (MFGDAY) helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers to potential future employees  by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders.

We at Wenzel America enjoy spending time with the students and watching the fascination on their faces as they experience modern inspection technology for the first time and it is very rewarding for us and the students taking part.  In addition to the fun, there is a serious point to the day vital to the ongoing health of North American manufacturing industry as a whole.

All of manufacturing industry needs to have a pipeline of kids coming through to become their workforce of the future and that is the main purpose of Manufacturing day; To ensure a pipeline of new talent energized to make their careers in Manufacturing at all levels.  It can be argued that the need to inspire future entrants into the field of Metrology and QA is particularly pressing because these technologies are among the least known and appreciated outside our walls.

It’s not so much that Metrology has a bad name (though we have been known to upset people who are making bad parts) but more the case that the general public including teachers and career advisers do not know that we exist or what it is we do. 

Everyone appreciates the feel of a quality product and can recognize when products such as their car’s key fob, TV remote or domestic appliances fit together properly, work well and feel to the touch like a quality product. People also really appreciate it when their cars go for tens of thousands of miles and don’t break down with almost no maintenance.

What they don’t do is make the connection between that and the vital role Metrology, QA and Inspection play in making that a reality.

Oakland County High School Students at Wenzel America MFGDAY2018
Oakland County High School Students at Wenzel America MFGDAY2018

Kids are understandably fired up about robotics and consider it is as much a sport as a serious engineering discipline; Similarly, it is easy for them to get excited about aircraft, space travel and motor sports.  Nobody thinks inspection is a sport but from my own experience speaking to kids at Manufacturing Day, students can readily connect to the concept of inspection being the key to making a better product and become really interested once it’s role is explained to them.  When they learn there are plenty of well-paying jobs in the field that seals the deal.

As an industry we need to get out there and spread the message at any chance we get and Manufacturing Day is a great way to do it.  We will need those converts to our cause sooner than we know it to fill the jobs that will be waiting for them.