Do you have your calendars marked for the next national holiday on Oct. 2? Probably not, if the results of our admittedly unscientific web poll are any indication.
That day is Manufacturing Day, and more than half of the people responding to our poll had no idea what it was. OK, it's not really a national holiday. But the first Friday of October is designated as Manufacturing Day. It is co-sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and manufacturers are encouraged to hold local events hosting students, job seekers and others to showcase modern manufacturing technology and career opportunities.
I'd heard of Manufacturing Day in passing, and saw some coverage of it in other media outlets. This year I read some of the press material more closely and the mission to plant the seed of a potential career in the field seemed ideal for the rubber industry.
Based on the results of our web poll, though, I was afraid no rubber companies were involved. After a quick perusal of the Manufacturing Day website, however, I was glad to find at least a dozen rubber-related firms planning events. I contacted a few—some new to the program, others veterans—and they all were excited about the opportunity.
DeVoll's Rubber Products Inc. in Adelanto, Calif., will be taking part for the third year. It learned of the day through California Manufacturing Technology Consulting. Its open house drew 30 visitors each of the first two years, and the company expects to have 50 attendees this year.
Cooper Standard Automotive is a member of NAM and has hosted tours for local schools for years, but this is the first time it will have several plants participate in the national event. The firm wants to have students come into a manufacturing environment and see how much innovation and advanced technology are involved.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is viewing the whole month of October as Manufacturing Day and will be doing a number of initiatives under the “Dream It, Do It” program. The company wants to develop a manufacturing talent pipeline; close the skills gap between available jobs and those ready to fill them; improve the image of careers in manufacturing; celebrate the contributions of its people; and connect with its communities.
So now that you're aware of this “holiday” you still might have time to plan an activity. Or at least put it on your calendar for next year.
Meyer is executive editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.