2022 MFG Day

On October 7 (and throughout the month), manufacturers, community colleges, and universities around the nation will open their doors to show the next generation the amazing careers available in manufacturing as part of MFG Day.

This is a big deal. Today’s manufacturers face two major issues: workforce and supply chain. While we can’t predict exactly when, there is a light on the horizon for supply chain issues.

As for workforce, that horizon isn’t so obvious. Manufacturing thrives in Iowa, and most models show manufacturing employment continuing to grow over the next decade. Unfortunately, in most parts of Iowa, our population is not growing.

If a you are a manufacturer, you need people today. You’ll need even more people tomorrow, and those jobs will look different. As technology continues to advance, you’ll need people that can fix complex systems, write code and low-code applications, and operate in constantly changing environments.

Today’s manufacturing jobs pay well and offer good careers. Tomorrow’s manufacturing jobs will pay better and offer even better careers. Participating in MFG Day is a step that all manufacturers are encouraged to take, but it is one step.

If you want to win the war for tomorrow’s manufacturing talent, here are some other steps you should consider:

  • Support your local STEM programs, through financial support and volunteering. One popular program in Iowa with manufacturing relevance is FIRST.
  • Engage with local middle schools and high schools on manufacturing careers.
  • Host a teacher externship.
  • Sponsor activities in manufacturing-related programs at colleges and universities, such as student capstone projects or student interest clubs.

Iowa’s Future Ready Iowa provides even more great tips and programs to help you engage with schools and develop the next generation of talent.

You can’t do it all, and everything might not be the best fit for your needs. The most important thing is that you keep engaging with the next generation of talent throughout the year.

For more information on building a K-22 pipeline, contact Mayra Ramirez at ramirezm@iastate.edu or 515-520-3101