As of now, an assortment of Iowa sponsors are scheduled to hold at least 147 events sprinkled throughout 99 counties this October to help showcase manufacturing. For the second consecutive year, CIRAS has been working alongside Iowa’s community colleges, the Iowa Area Development Group, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to make certain that “MFG Day” is a statewide affair. This is part of a broader and ongoing effort to elevate advanced manufacturing’s place throughout Iowa.
CIRAS’ analysis of economic data shows that manufacturing accounted for 18.3 percent of Iowa’s economy in 2014, employing more than 224,000 people at an average wage exceeding $54,000 per year. Yet, surveys show only 37 percent of Americans are planning to encourage their children to choose careers in manufacturing. The hope is that a broader exposure to modern manufacturing will help change some outdated perceptions.
“Manufacturing Day is our chance to start changing peoples’ minds by sharing our stories and opening our plants,” said CIRAS program director Mike O’Donnell. “We make great things in Iowa, and this is the chance to show off.”
Iowa is home to approximately 6,110 manufacturing firms, including nearly 900 food factories. Iowa factories make everything from tiny things, such as food ingredients and micro-molded plastic parts, to giant things, such as grain bins and tensioned fabric buildings. Combined, manufacturing produces the second largest share of Iowa’s gross domestic product, behind “financial activities,” and adds more than $30 billion annually to the state’s economy.
For more information on this month’s events, search for Iowa on the schedule at www.MFGDay.com .
Created in 1963, Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) helps industry prosper by offering a wide range of technical assistance, education and applied research to address company-specific concerns. Assistance is made possible by a combination of state, federal and private dollars. CIRAS clients, in manufacturing and other industries, have reported an economic impact of more than $2 billion over the past five years.
For more information, contact CIRAS communication manager Jeff Eckhoff at email@example.com or 515-231-7826.