Wolf Administration Announces Winners of Second Annual Statewide “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest Awards

Harrisburg, PA – Today, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin and the Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak joined students and manufacturing leaders at the Forum Auditorium in Harrisburg to announce the winners of the statewide ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ (WSCM) Student Video Contest Awards hosted by the Manufacturers Resource Center.

“When we get young students engaged in manufacturing – when we let them see these jobs first-hand and get excited about them – we’re opening up a world of opportunity for their future careers,” Secretary Davin said. “The talent and creativity on display through this contest is astounding and makes me more hopeful than ever before about the future of Pennsylvania manufacturing. Congratulations to all of the winners and every student team that submitted a video this year!”

WSCM is a series of 15 annual, regional contests in which middle-school students across Pennsylvania explore manufacturing careers and produce video profiles of companies. Today’s contest was the second year that winners from each region competed against one another for statewide awards. Out of the 240 middle school teams featuring 240 Pennsylvania manufacturers, 32 teams advanced to the statewide contest.

“The goal of the WSCM program is to make manufacturing attractive and cool in the eyes of middle school students, and their parents and educators, so that a career in manufacturing, technical training and STEM education are on their radar,” said Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of Manufacturers Resource Center. “The creativity and enthusiasm that was displayed in each of the videos today is inspiring to all of us, and I congratulate every student who participated in this program across Pennsylvania.”

The winners of the second annual statewide WSCM Awards, and the manufacturers that were the subjects of the videos, were:

  • First place: Neil A. Armstrong Middle School featuring Macron Dynamics
  • Second place: Reading Southern Middle School featuring Packaging Corporation of America
  • Third place: Northeast Middle School featuring Just Born Quality Confections

The ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest aligns with Governor Wolf’s emphasis on strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce through increasing education and training opportunities. In the 2019-2020 Executive Budget, Governor Wolf proposed the new Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) to provide workforce development opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. SWEAP will expand access to early childhood education, increase investments in schools and educators, and further partner with the private sector to build on the PAsmart initiative. Through SWEAP and PAsmart, the governor is calling for an additional $4 million to help Pennsylvania manufacturers train workers and $6 million to expand career and technical education for adults.

“Today’s manufacturing is not your grandfather’s industry. Most of these operations are clean and technology-oriented, with employers seeking a highly skilled workforce to fill their open positions,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Pennsylvania is investing in its students and young people through education and training opportunities to meet manufacturing needs and provide good paying jobs for our future workforce.”

For more information about the Wolf Administration’s commitment to the manufacturing sector and workforce development, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Michael Gerber, DCED, 717.783.1132

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