Wolf Administration Congratulates Winners of 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, Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak, and Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera congratulated the winners of the statewide ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ (WSCM) Student Video Contest Awards hosted by the Manufacturers Resource Center.

“Even though this award ceremony looked a little different this year, as we all had to celebrate at a distance, the videos that these incredible students created are still certainly worth celebrating,” said Sec. Davin. “These students represent the future of manufacturing in the commonwealth, and their work will encourage their peers to make themselves a part of that future. The Wolf Administration is proud of their efforts to show Pennsylvania what’s so cool about manufacturing.”

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

First Place: Saint Clair Middle School (Schuylkill County) – featuring Hydro

Second Place: Reading Southern Middle School (Berks County) – featuring Novipax LLC

Third Place: Oil City Area Middle School (Venango County) – featuring Matric Group

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. A five-judge panel, representing eastern, central and western Pennsylvania, viewed 22 contestant entries, representing 13 regional contests across Pennsylvania and a total of 200 student videos, to select the statewide award recipients.

“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 Sec. Oleksiak. “Pennsylvania is investing in its students and young people through education and training opportunities to meet manufacturer’s needs and provide good paying jobs for our future workforce. I am thrilled to see teams from across the state participating in this year’s competition and hope to maintain that excitement regarding the commonwealth’s manufacturing opportunities for years to come.”

More than half of all Pennsylvania school districts have participated in ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ since its inception in 2013, and the contest aligns with Governor Wolf’s emphasis on strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce through increasing education and training opportunities.

“At the Department of Education, we know today’s students make up tomorrow’s workforce, and that means our future depends on them,” said Sec. Rivera. “Our goal is for every student to graduate from high school college, career and community ready and to find a career pathway they are passionate about – whether it’s manufacturing, engineering, or teaching.”

Today’s contest was the third year that winners from each region competed against one another for statewide awards and the first year that the awards ceremony was held virtually.

“We are so proud of the students and so excited to celebrate the Best of PA videos, even with all that is going on,” said Karen Buck, Manager of Workforce Initiatives Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC). “The continued success of the What’s So Cool program validates its effort to promote manufacturing career pathways and STEM and CTE education statewide and nationwide, and to help plan for a robust economic future.”

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.

Casey Smith, DCED, casesmith@pa.gov
Penny Ickes, L&I, dlipress@pa.gov
Eric Levis, PDE, elevis@pa.gov

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