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It’s that time of year again.

School is back in session. Students are flooding classrooms either out of a thirst for knowledge or because their parents threatened them. However they enter, the same question is beginning to wander through each of their minds.

“What am I going to do with my life?”

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CIRAS has a few suggestions that Iowa students ought to consider before answering that question.

October 6 marks the nation’s fifth annual Manufacturing Day. The day was created to celebrate modern factories and show American communities, especially high school and junior high students, the rewarding opportunities that come a high-tech career in manufacturing.  Iowa plans to celebrate with a variety of events spread throughout the month of October.

Iowa currently is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing business, which in 2014 were collectively responsible for 224,382 jobs – or roughly 11 percent of Iowa’s total employment. The average manufacturing wage in the state was $54,420 in 2014. Yet, national studies show most parents would be unwilling to promote manufacturing as a potential career for their children.

MFG Day is designed to change that perception.

CIRAS has been involved with this event for the past two years and want to see it continue to grow. In conjunction with other partners around the state, CIRAS is hosting or helping to host October events in all 99 Iowa counties.

If you are a manufacturer or school that would like to get involved, visit the Manufacturing Day website at www.mfgday.com or contact CIRAS account manager Paul Dunnwald at dunnwald@iastate.edu or 515-509-1377.

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