2023 Manufacturing Day Recap

Manufacturing Day, observed on the first Friday of October but celebrated throughout the entire month, inspires the next generation, reshapes perceptions about manufacturing, and fosters a robust future workforce. It’s an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute, dedicated to diversifying, strengthening, and advancing the manufacturing workforce, promoting opportunities, and driving industry growth in the United States.

The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) had a bustling and eventful October, celebrating MFG Day with a series of engaging and informative activities. Throughout the month, DVIRC worked to connect Southeastern Pennsylvania manufacturers with local schools, raise awareness about manufacturing careers, and provide valuable insights.

Supporting Regional Manufacturers with MFG Day Events

DVIRC demonstrated its commitment to promoting and nurturing the manufacturing sector by actively supporting and providing resources to four regional manufacturers in hosting their Manufacturing Day events. These events served as opportunities for companies to showcase their operations, products, and the exciting possibilities that the manufacturing industry has to offer. DVIRC worked to connect manufacturers with schools, enabling students to gain insights into the world of manufacturing and potentially consider it as a career path.

A huge shout-out to the regional manufacturers who opened their doors to the next generation of makers! This includes the KMM Group, Penn Stainless, NewAge Industries, and Bracalente. NewAge Industries, who held their first-ever MFG Day event this month, made it into Plastics News.

NewAge Industries, located in Southampton, PA, aimed to “challenge stereotypes surrounding U.S. manufacturing” and sought to “spotlight its diverse skill sets and workforce” during its MFG Day open house on October 3rd.

KMM Group, located in Hatboro, PA, manufacturers mission-critical medical, aerospace, and other advanced components. KMM sought to empower the future with its MFG Day event on October 7th.

Economic Insights for Business Leaders

DVIRC didn’t stop at just connecting schools and manufacturers. On October 10th, DVIRC organized a networking event in partnership with CBIZ. Business leaders had the opportunity to gather and gain valuable insights into the state of the economy, from Anna Rathbun, Chief Investment Officer at CBIZ Investment Advisory Services. She presented valuable insights to business leaders on today’s economic trends and shared strategies to secure a successful future.

This event provided business leaders with necessary information as they navigate uncertain economic conditions and it also served as a platform for collaboration and exchange of ideas, fostering a stronger and more resilient manufacturing community.

A key aspect of Manufacturing Day is looking to the future, which is why DVIRC wanted to recognize the innovators, entrepreneurs, and makers who drive the sector’s evolution. The DVIRC understands that all entrepreneurs possess invaluable qualities: vision and drive. This includes the urge to continuously learn and grow. This is why we partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), to develop the “Level-Up” program. This engaging program offers transformative modules that help take these innovators to the next level!

Designed to assist small-scale makers and micro-manufacturers in Philadelphia to advance, this program recognizes the unique challenges faced by businesses with fewer than ten employees. Small businesses often lack the time, experience, and structure needed to adopt best practices, making “Level Up” Manufacturing an essential resource. It equips participants with the tools and tactics used by some of the world’s most successful companies.

We used Manufacturing Day as a platform to spotlight some of the amazing entrepreneurs who are driving our region’s maker community, publishing highlight pieces in our newsletter and on social media.

Spotlighting Local Makers and Innovators

One of the Philadelphia makers participating in “Level Up” is woman-owned, Philadelphia-based, Aqua Waterproof Headwear. DVIRC interviewed co-owner, Khadijah Robinson, to learn more about her brand and why she chose “Level Up.” Read More →

Marquita Carter, founder of Philly Traveling Braider and Trinity Haircare, participated in “Level-Up.” She shared her inspiring journey and why it’s so important that entrepreneurs be life-long learners. Read More → 

DVIRC Dream Teamers Inspire Future Generations

DVIRC coordinated three Dream Team speaking engagements in October, giving young manufacturing professionals a platform to speak in schools about manufacturing careers. This proactive approach is pivotal in creating awareness among students and inspiring the future workforce to consider a career in the manufacturing industry.

A special shoutout to the Dream Teamers who presented in October which includes:

  • Allyson Louie, Electrical Systems Engineer at Leonardo, who presented at New Hope-Solebury High School on October 17th
  • Lisa Miller and Jaclyn Slivka, Automation Engineers at Greene, Tweed & Co., who presented to students at the Careers of Tomorrow on October 24th
  • Anias Allen, Plant Support Specialist at Colorcon, who presented to students at Furness High School on October 25th

By sharing their knowledge and experiences, these Dream Teamers played a significant role in shaping the future of the sector. With these MFG Day presentations, the DVIRC Dream Team has now engaged with 15 different schools this year!

Anias Allen, a Plant Support Specialist at Colorcon®, shared valuable insights about the exciting and rewarding careers available in manufacturing to over 70 students at Furness High School in Philadelphia.

Allyson Louie, one of DVIRC’s Dream Team ambassadors, gave a talk at New Hope-Solebury High School on October 17th. As a Systems Engineer at Leonardo Helicopters, she provided invaluable insights into fulfilling careers in manufacturing!

Allyson Louie (pictured above), one of DVIRC’s Dream Team ambassadors, gave a fantastic talk at New Hope-Solebury High School on October 17th. As a Systems Engineer at Leonardo Helicopters, she provided invaluable insights into fulfilling careers in manufacturing!

Educating Manufacturers with Virtual Supply Chain 101 Program

The supply environment has run in a steady state for decades; however, a new paradigm has emerged. Supply Chain disruptions are frequent which is why DVIRC kicked off its proprietary Supply Chain 101 series on October 25th for 30 manufacturing professionals. This program equips manufacturers with essential knowledge and best practices in supply chain management, helping them streamline their operations and remain competitive in the ever-evolving manufacturing landscape. Thanks to a federal grant, DVIRC was able to offer this program free of charge to PA manufacturers!

DVIRC Supports Montco Careers of Tomorrow Expo

On October 24th, Montgomery County invited businesses from across the region to participate in a large-scale career fair for students in grades 8-12. MontcoWorks and The Montgomery County Commerce Department organized this fair to help employers grow a talent pipeline by encouraging the next generation of workers. Over the course of the morning, hundreds of students met with exhibitors and learned about the many exciting careers available in manufacturing and other industries. DVIRC is proud to have participated in this event by sending volunteers and providing sponsorship.

Two DVIRC Dream Teamers, Jaclyn Slivka & Lisa Miller, worked the booth for Green, Tweed & Co.

Manufacturing Day is more than just an annual event; it’s a celebration of the heart and soul of our economy. DVIRC’s efforts throughout the month of October showcased the significance of the manufacturing sector, the opportunities it offers, and the impact it has on our communities and future workforce. DVIRC hopes others will join us in building bridges between schools and manufacturers, fostering economic growth, and inspiring the next generation of manufacturing leaders.

Interested in learning more about DVIRC’s ongoing workforce efforts? Contact our Director of Workforce Engagement, Hannah McGarry.

Hannah McGarry

Director of Workforce Engagement