The Eastern Ontario Manufacturing Workforce Development Project (EOMWDP) strives to inform and encourage upcoming generations to consider manufacturing as a career choice. As the Baby Boomers retire and there are more and more jobs to fill, the manufacturing sector in eastern Ontario is teaching kids and high school students what manufacturing is all about, and how it’s an exciting, diverse career choice for their future.
Another group of manufacturers called the NEW Manufacturing Alliance (NEWMA) works with workforce development, educators, state organizations and chambers of commerce to promote manufacturing in the Northeast Wisconsin region.
NEWMA’s goal is similar to EOMWDP’s: to help every manufacturer find the talent they need to succeed. Through promotional days, community programs, videos and awards, NEWMA creates a positive view of manufacturing in their region showing students and job seekers the many opportunities that exist in the exciting industry of manufacturing.
5 Ways NEW Manufacturing Alliance Promotes the Manufacturing Industry
1. Internship Draft Day
NEWMA started Internship Draft Day in 2015, and since then hundreds of college students have participated. The exciting event is organized similar to an NFL draft, however instead of receiving a football contract, students may be awarded a scholarship, and a possible paid internship as well.
2019’s event had over 180 students registered, with NEWMA member companies offering hundreds of paid internships. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet with many different employers all at once, and also allows students to work on their networking and interviewing skills.
Pre-registered students get points prior to the event based on their past work experience, participation in clubs, and GPA. They then can receive more points during Internship Draft Day based on how well they interview for their pre-scheduled interviews.
Each manufacturing company chooses their Most Valuable Interview (MVI) and at the end of the event, each pre-registered student’s points are added up. Top draft picks are announced for each school, followed by the overall #1 MVI. Scholarships are then awarded.
The event is a fun way to bring students and manufacturing employers together, and also reward students for their work experience and participation at school, as well as their hard work to get good grades.
2. All Star Careers
In a short video, NEWMA showcases how manufacturing careers offer great advancement opportunities, wages, and the ability to work with the latest technology. Real people from Wisconsin share why they enjoy working in manufacturing.
The video is easily accessible on the main page of the NEWMA website so students looking for jobs in manufacturing get a clear, exciting idea of what awaits them in the industry.
With real people talking about their training and job experiences, salaries and workplace environments, students see firsthand what manufacturing is all about. Students also learn that manufacturing is not a boring, repetitive or isolated job, debunking old myths about the manufacturing industry.
3. Manufacturers Outreach
NEWMA offers these services from their members to keep manufacturing accessible to anyone looking for more information about the sector:
- Plant tours
- Job shadowing
- Youth apprenticeships
- Career speakers
- College internships & co-ops
Direct contact information is available for each of the above options encouraging people to reach out and learn more about manufacturing firsthand.
4. Explore Careers at Alliance Companies
NEWMA offers people a comprehensive view of what it’s like to work at 24 manufacturing companies throughout Wisconsin. From September through November, focusing specifically on Manufacturing Month in October, NEWMA highlights the 24 companies, helping them to share their stories with anyone wanting to hear them. The companies were even promoted on news channels in the region to more effectively disseminate information about the exciting jobs available in the manufacturing sector.
5. Excellence Manufacturing Awards
NEWMA offers a video of their manufacturing award winners, showcasing the various manufacturers and their continued attempts to connect with students through:
- Supporting STEM nights
- Engaging with teachers and curriculum
- Offering tours to elementary and middle school children
- Providing job shadowing for high school students
- Offering part-time jobs to high school students
- Promoting comprehensive internships at various companies
The dinner and awards from NEWMA celebrate all the hard work manufacturers put into promoting the industry and educating the upcoming generations about what manufacturing is currently, and where it’s going in the future.
The Northumberland Manufacturers Association (NMA) in eastern Ontario offers similar awards for excellence in manufacturing, including a
- Health & Safety Award
- High-Performance Manufacturing Award
- Investing in Employee Development Award
These three awards recognize local industry leaders and highlight what they do.
These are some strategies you can use in your own business to promote manufacturing; why not contact the EOMWDP to find similar programs in our community as well.