What’s so cool about manufacturing? Students in Lincoln County are about to find out through an innovative program called “Show-Me Manufacturing” provided by Toyota-Bodine Manufacturing, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dream It. Do It.
Show-Me Manufacturing is a video contest for students at four local middle schools: Elsberry R-2, Lincoln County, R-3, Winfield R-4, and Silex R-1. Students will create videos featuring local manufacturing facilities. The students will highlight “What’s so cool about manufacturing” and will compete for the most “likes” on YouTube. Participating schools are receiving GoPro cameras, software and coaching through funding from Toyota USA Funds. The contest runs from October through February and will conclude with an awards celebration highlighting the top videos.
“The contest is designed to get our students up close and personal with the opportunities that manufacturing careers provide,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO. “Today’s manufacturing facilities are not what many students and parents envision. These facilities provide high-tech, high-skills jobs with excellent benefits and compensation. This is an innovative way to help our students see the abundant opportunities these jobs provide.”
The contest was launched Oct. 2 during Manufacturing Day celebrations at Toyota Bodine Manufacturing in Troy, Mo. More than 50 students and stakeholders attended the celebration and toured the manufacturing facility.
“We are proud to be part of this program and open our facility to our next generation of workers,” said Wes Woods, general manager of Toyota Bodine Manufacturing. “We currently provide 750 jobs to workers in this region and intend to keep growing. To do that, we need to let our students and parents know what it takes to be part of our workforce and the benefits that come with these careers.”
In addition to Toyota-Bodine, students will have the opportunity to video tape several other participating manufacturers in the area of advanced manufacturing technology.
Show-Me Manufacturing is the first program the Missouri Chamber is undertaking as the new statewide host of the Dream It. Do It. program in Missouri. Established in 2005, Dream It. Do It. is a national, grassroots effort aimed at raising the perception of manufacturing jobs and recruiting the next generation manufacturing workforce. The program is provided by the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of National Association of Manufacturing. Through this partnership, the Missouri Chamber will promote and facilitate activities that increase awareness of the abundant opportunities in manufacturing and technology fields.
“According to a study by Deloitte conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, students familiar with manufacturing are two times more likely to consider it as a career opportunity,” said Mehan. “That is what makes programs like these so critical.”
The same Manufacturing Institute study cited that six out of ten open skilled production positions are unfilled due to talent shortage.
“Through our partnership with the Manufacturing Institute and employers like Toyota-Bodine, the Missouri Chamber is committing to help narrow the skills gap and keep our manufacturing operations going strong,” said Mehan.