A Month of Milestones for DVIRC’s Workforce Initiative

To help address the regional workforce shortage, DVIRC has been focusing on implementing programs to increase the awareness of manufacturing jobs and career opportunities and, hopefully, increasing the number of people in the talent pipeline.

Here are some of the initiatives that we are working on.


What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?

The annual What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? video contest is designed to expose middle-school students to modern manufacturing and manufacturing careers by having them create a video about a local manufacturing company. This year, the What’s So Cool? contest paired 7 schools from Bucks and Montgomery Counties with local manufactures.

The schools and companies that participated were:

  • East Norriton who partnered with Rodon
  • Mother Teresa who partnered with Dorman Products
  • Neil Armstrong who partnered with Bracalente Manufacturing Group
  • Our Lady of Grace who partnered with Penn Engineering
  • Tamaned who partnered with Lampire Biological Laboratories
  • Unami who partnered with Ameriscend
  • Upper Moreland who partnered with Packaging Progressions

Voting for the Viewer’s Choice Award took place between March 22 and March 24th. Each school had to produce a comprehensive communication plan to get the vote out, and this year we had over 143,000 votes! The Viewer’s Choice Award went to Unami Middle School for their video with Ameriscend!
The other awards went to:

  • Neil Armstrong/Bracalente for Best Videography
  • Tamanend/Lampire for Most Creative
  • Upper Moreland/Packaging Progressions for Most Outstanding video.

The teams put in a lot of work and it showed! Upper Moreland, as the Most Outstanding video for the Philadelphia Region, will represent the region at the PA State Awards and will travel to Harrisburg on May 15th for the awards ceremony! Good Luck to Upper Moreland! And thanks to all of the teachers, students, and companies for their time and efforts!

To see the videos, visit the Philadelphia Region Contest Page!

As we plan for FY24, we are looking to expand the number of schools and companies in this important career awareness program. Companies and schools that are interested in getting involved, should contact Hannah McGarry at hmcgarry@dvirc.org or 267-892-0569.

Companies—Act Now! We have a limited number of openings available.


PA Dream Team

The Dream Team Ambassadors program is officially launched in the Southeast region! This program is targeted at high school students as an initial step in exploring manufacturing careers. The Ambassadors represent the best and brightest young professionals that are nominated by their companies to make classroom presentations to High Schools that share their stories and encourage students to explore manufacturing careers.

To date, we have 19 Dream Team Ambassadors from 12 companies. The Ambassadors are fully trained and on-boarded and are ready to visit schools. We sent out over 70 emails introducing the Dream Team Ambassadors to local public and private high school principals, and already have 3 presentations scheduled and at least 3 more in the pipeline. Our goal is to have 15 presentations before the end of the school year.

Meet the DVIRC Dream Team.

If you know of any high schools that are interested in having a Dream Team Ambassador speak to their students, please have them reach out to Hannah McGarry at hmcgarry@dvirc.org or 267-892-0569.


Sewers Collaborative

We’re currently working with a group of textile firms to establish a Sewing Machine Operator (SMO) Training Program to help those and other textile firms with their workforce needs. The project, undertaken with JEVS Orleans Technical College, will define the requirements for the training program and result in a business model for establishing it.

With support from the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, the project is also working with four Immigrant & Refugee service organizations to help those textile companies with their immediate needs and to create employment opportunities for the region’s immigrants and refugees, concentrated in Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. We have administered a survey and are in the process of collating the data we received in order to present the data to the textile companies. We will then review the initial SMO curriculum and develop a budget and sustainability plan that will form the basis for the business plan.

Working with JEVS, HIAS PA, This is Opportunity, and the Nationalities Service Center, we have informed them about these job openings with the hope that their work with immigrant and refugee populations will produce some interest in these positions. This sort of collaboration has been well-received by everyone involved. Stay tuned for more on this project.


Interested in getting involved or learning more about how DVIRC is working to support the growth of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s manufacturing talent? Contact our Director of Workforce Engagement, Hannah McGarry.

Hannah McGarry

Director of Workforce Engagement