manufacturing day celebration

How to Plan the Best Manufacturing Day Celebration

October 2, 2018 - Emily Newton

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A Manufacturing Day celebration is an important new tradition in American business. In fact, it’s probably a lot more important than you realize. For many members of the general public, it’s easy to forget where all our “stuff” comes from. The global manufacturing industry does lots of the heavy lifting that makes civilized life possible. Let’s take a look at some Manufacturing Day ideas your company can consider.

What Is Manufacturing Day?

Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the first Friday in October. On Manufacturing Day, companies are encouraged to host parties and events that showcase modern manufacturing innovations and careers. It’s also an opportunity for manufacturers to discuss the latest challenges and solutions in the industry.

To be honest, it’s understandable if you’ve never heard of it. This holiday has only been on the books since 2012, after being formally recognized by the National Association of Manufacturing. It’s also less a single holiday and more a general day when businesses throw grassroots-style community events. These events focus on promoting manufacturing awareness and seeking bright new talent.

The Goals of Manufacturing Day

The National Association of Manufacturing hopes Manufacturing Day will achieve many goals, such as:

  • Education: Companies can inform the general public, nationwide, about the vital role of modern manufacturing and the challenges and opportunities in front of it today.
  • Busting Myths: Manufacturers can help dispel some of the more stubborn myths and misperceptions about manufacturing, including that robots are taking all the jobs, that it’s unskilled work or that it’s not rewarding and innovative.
  • Attracting Employees: You can encourage young people to pursue futures in manufacturing. With some of the misconceptions cleared up, the time is right to encourage a new and diverse wave of manufacturing experts and mechanical and chemical engineers.

Why Do We Celebrate Manufacturing Day?

In 2013, manufacturing represented just shy of 9 percent of America’s workforce. That makes it a massive employer. We also know it’s a diverse and inclusive industry. Non-college graduates stand to earn more than 10% more in manufacturing roles than they would in other industries.

However, the public doesn’t widely know these things. In fact, if anything, manufacturing is headed for a shortage of skilled and semi-skilled workers if the Federal Reserve’s figures are correct. In just a decade’s time, manufacturing could be struggling with a skills gap 2 million jobs wide.

As we’ve alluded to, another of the major goals driving Manufacturing Day is the pursuit of a wider and more diverse talent pool. Manufacturing Day is a chance for companies of all sizes and in all parts of the country to offer tours of their facilities, free food and drink, educational workshops, good conversation, and to conduct early job candidate onboarding when interested and enthusiastic individuals present themselves.

It’s part job fair, part open house, part street bazaar and part classroom experience.

Manufacturers planning an event or series of events around this holiday should ensure their open doors are as open as they can be. Over the last couple of decades, women and minorities have earned a larger share of the general workforce and of manufacturing jobs specifically. However, in 2016 — despite representing nearly half of the entire U.S. workforce — women only held 29 percent of manufacturing positions. You may also be aware that baby boomers are beginning to retire in droves, which means millennials have an almost unprecedented opportunity to remake the manufacturing industry in their image. It’s an exciting time to be involved with manufacturing.

So, there’s work to do. How should companies go about promoting the opportunities and potential of high-tech manufacturing? Here are some Manufacturing Day ideas to help you show the public what your company and your industry is all about.

3 Ways to Celebrate Manufacturing Day

Throw a Manufacturing Day celebration every year with the following event ideas:

1. Host a Hiring Event

First, although diversification is a popular industry buzzword, the people you most want to reach — young people who don’t know about manufacturing, as well as minorities overlooked by other recruiting events — are going to be turned off by pandering. Make it clear that you’re hiring for work ethic, integrity and enthusiasm. Radiate respect and be ready to explore with your visitors and tour groups exactly what you enjoy about your career.

In particular, you’re looking for individuals who show an aptitude for, and interest in, data analysis and business software, material, chemical and mechanical engineering, material handling and more. Manufacturing will only rely more heavily on higher technologies, and people skilled with their upkeep, as time goes on.

2. Reach Out to the Community

Don’t forget about the wider region in which you operate, either. You might not be a nationwide organization, but your online presence should be shouting loud and clear about Manufacturing Day. This includes interesting social media posts, articles on your official blog and even employee-generated content on their own feeds about why they love working for you and why they find manufacturing exciting.

While your local presence puts out tents, hires musicians and begins tour routes through your facilities and job floors, your digital presence should be casting an even wider net.

3. Share Your Mission

Don’t lose sight of what people want out of a career, either. Remember that every $1 investment in U.S. manufacturing returns $1.81 to the larger economy. People have never had a stronger desire for meaningful work. Figures like these are perfect for making the case that manufacturing is vital and energizing. Use Manufacturing Day to position your company as one that helps the country and keeps the world turning.

Plan Your Manufacturing Day Celebration

Just about everybody enjoys discovering how to build their favorite products and knowing who’s involved in product development and assembly. When you’re putting together your own Manufacturing Day ideas, remember that while this is an annual event, it’s a great way to remind folks that manufacturing never takes a day off.

You can download the official Manufacturing Day checklist for hosting companies, including instructions for registering your event for maximum publicity. Above all, remember to have fun. For many of your visitors, this will be the first time they’ve seen the curtain pulled back on this vital industry. As their ambassador, make sure their first impressions are positive ones.

Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.


Emily Newton

Emily Newton is a technology and industrial journalist and the Editor in Chief of Revolutionized. She manages the sites publishing schedule, SEO optimization and content strategy. Emily enjoys writing and researching articles about how technology is changing every industry. When she isn't working, Emily enjoys playing video games or curling up with a good book.

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