Wolf Administration: “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” is Inspiring the Future Generation of Workers

Reading, PA – Tonight, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin recognized the students, teachers, and manufacturers that participated in this year’s What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? (WSCM) video contest in Berks and Schuylkill counties. The WSCM contest for those counties is produced by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown.

“As someone who travels the state to discuss manufacturing and meet Pennsylvania’s diverse workforce supporting it, it is beyond impressive to see what these students can create and the impact that WSCM contestants’ videos have on educating and informing their peers about this industry,” said Sec. Davin. “Local manufacturing companies collaborating to welcome students into their facilities really allows a younger generation to show us through their eyes—what is the appeal? How could this work for me? They easily show us how and why manufacturing is cool.”

WSCM is an innovative career awareness program executed as a series of 16 annual, regional contests in which middle-school students across Pennsylvania explore manufacturing careers and produce video profiles of companies. It was created to help shape the image of manufacturing and career and technical education opportunities for students by highlighting the potential for good-paying, stable jobs in an evolving industry. A focus on career pathways in schools and more STEM education in many Pennsylvania classrooms combined with technological innovations in the industry are shaping the future of manufacturing and preparing the next generation of workers.

The program matches teams with manufacturing businesses in their communities that invite student filmmakers to highlight products, interview staff, and best showcase what it would be like to work for that employer. It also creates regional awareness of advanced manufacturing careers, increases both student and parent interest in STEM and technical education opportunities, helps students get an inside look at manufacturing companies in their community, encourages collaboration between industry and educators, and offers a project-based learning experience for students.

“When MRC originated the program seven years ago, we could not have imagined how successful it would become,” said President and CEO of the Manufacturers Resource Center Rich Hobbs. “With 16 regional WSCM contests in 2020 and our third annual WSCM Statewide Awards, it truly has become the signature program to raise awareness of manufacturing opportunities across the commonwealth.”

The ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?’ contest aligns with the commonwealth’s emphasis on strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce through increasing education and training opportunities.

Manufacturing PA was launched in October 2017, and since then has funded 35 projects and invested more than $9 million through the Training-to-Career program. Training-to-Career grants support projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing. The Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program works collaboratively with local manufacturers to identify and teach missing essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

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

J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717.783.1116
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132

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