2018 MFG DAY event--October 9th 2018
The focus of MFG DAY was to highlight the diversity of career opportunities AND demonstrate manufacturing is a S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based industry.
For the 5th year, TRMA and our education partner, Joliet Junior College, executed a MFG DAY event for local students. There were over 750 students from about 15 area schools in attendance to engage with 150+ volunteers from industry.
MFG DAY emerged from the desire to make a "louder voice" for our local manufacturers. Because manufacturing has a lot to celebrate being a vital industry for the US. In the last few decades, technology, innovation and automation have almost completely transformed the industry's jobs by automating repetitive, mundane, or dangerous tasks. So, today's manufacturing recruitment focuses on people who can imagine, adapt, troubleshoot and communicate and make decisions. This shift has and will continue to result in a demand for a more diverse and higher level skillset for manufacturing’s workforce, and its related industries.
Did you know that about 8.5% of the US Workforce is employed in manufacturing—that's about 12.8 million people? The average of those classified as hourly workers earn $26/hour, and that wage does NOT include benefits. Moreover, since the Will/Grundy area is a major intersection for waterways, expressways, pipelines and railways, we have one of the largest chemical and petrochemical manufacturing clusters in the nation. Workers in this manufacturing specialty area have a strong science, math, technology foundation enabling higher skillsets, as such, are paid a higher average wage rate--$33/hour before benefits.
Also, manufacturers' investment in research and development represents more than two-thirds of the entire private sectors' R&D investment. For manufacturing to remain strong, it needs high school students to consider careers in manufacturing and its related industries.