This October 4th marks the second annual Manufacturing Day. We think it’s definitely worthy of marking on our calendars.

Originating last year, Manufacturing Day (or MFG DAY as it’s officially spelled) was started to deal with “common misperceptions” the public has about the work manufacturers really do. “By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry,” the organizers state. The line-up of backers includes: the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Institute of Standards & Technology, and the Precision Metalforming Association.

“Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to celebrate work and innovation of the 12 million men and women who make the United States the world’s largest manufacturing economy,” said Ed Youdell, President and CEO of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association.

The key goals of Manufacturing Day, as listed on its website, are to educate the public about:

• What modern manufacturing facilities are really like these days.
• What companies located in your community make and who they sell to.
• What kinds of jobs are available in manufacturing.
• What skills and education are needed to qualify for today’s manufacturing jobs.

“Manufacturing Day provides a focused point in time each year when all manufacturers in America can collaborate to bring attention to this crucial sector of the economy and celebrate their accomplishments,” said Jennifer McNelly, President of the Manufacturing Institute.

One of the best intentioned aspects of MFG DAY is its concentration on getting young people to consider educational options for careers in manufacturing. Its Connecting Youth With Manufacturing initiative sounds like a winning idea. The MFG DAY sponsors noted: “Despite many technical and technological aspects that make it a naturally appealing career field for young people, manufacturing hasn’t yet found a way to make itself widely appealing to upcoming generations.” On October 4th, they’ll attempt to turn around that false impression.

Now, that’s something we can all support.