It’s that time of year again: time for fall décor, pumpkin spice, apple cider donuts, changing leaves … and Manufacturing Day on October 6! In fact, October is Manufacturing Month, offering an opportunity for organizations focused on production to highlight the impact their operations make on the world.
Created in 2012 and made official by presidential proclamation in 2014, National Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month are designed to showcase the potential of modern manufacturing and foster interest in manufacturing careers. They’re even recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau, which offers a microsite with manufacturing stats, historical facts, data, training tools and news.
The need for the spotlight on manufacturing is real. Per The Manufacturing Institute, manufacturers aim to fill 4.6 million highly skilled, high-tech and high-paying jobs by 2028. Manufacturing Day offers a platform for organizations to inspire the future STEM workforce through plant tours, hands-on demonstrations, mentoring and more.
The most popular and “traditional” way to recognize Manufacturing Day is through an on-site or virtual event such as a career day, plant tour or panel discussion. But sometimes this approach presents logistical challenges for operations that make it unfeasible.
Fortunately, Manufacturing Day is about more than just events, and there are many other ways to support the spirit of the day. Here’s a sampling of other tools your organization may consider to highlight its manufacturing contributions:
- Videos: Use creative footage and candid interviews to “show and tell” what modern manufacturing looks like.
- Content marketing: Tell the story of how 21st century manufacturing is transforming lives across your customers, workforce and more.
- Social media: Engage audiences with trivia contests, fun facts, inside highlights and other “did you know” aspects about your operations.
- Media relations: Pursue earned opportunities in manufacturing- or business-focused outlets like IndustryWeek.
- Thought leadership: Use your subject matter experts to express views on manufacturing-related trending topics.
Finding the right way to make manufacturing tangible for your audience allows you to spotlight not only what you do, but also how you do it. Some of the “what’s in it for me?” benefits Manufacturing Day provides include:
- Establishing a pipeline for recruiting at all levels
- Providing an opportunity to highlight important topics like safety in operations
- Offering a controlled view of differentiating processes and capabilities
- Creating a new platform to highlight social responsibility and DE&I efforts
To leverage the power of Manufacturing Day, it’s important to identify your goals and plan ahead. A helpful checklist as you prepare includes:
- Clearly outlining what you want to achieve, who you’re targeting and what takeaways you want your audiences to have.
- Determining what support you have or need for the activities you decide to pursue. Set up a defined budget and business case for leaders and make sure your goals are aligned with their commitment.
- Plugging in the right people across the organization to ensure a cross-functional approach as you develop your tactics.
- Promote, promote, promote your efforts to your audiences!
Need support ideating and executing creative and impactful ways to bring Manufacturing Day to life at your organization? Email Nancy at Nancy.Spatholt@akhia.com to start the conversation.