The Creators Wanted tour landed in Atlanta last week for the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference—the largest gathering of the America’s future skills workforce.
Over the course of the three-day program, the tour, an initiative of the NAM and the Manufacturing Institute, helped change attitudes and challenge misconceptions about manufacturing, opening up a new world for some of the country’s most talented rising workers.
By the numbers: The tour’s SkillsUSA stop, sponsored by Honda, Snap-on, FactoryFix and Union Pacific, helped share the story of modern manufacturing with many of the brightest career mentors and technical education students in the United States.
- 15,000 people attended the event, including many career and technical education students, educators and parents.
- More than 1,500 people took part in the Creators Wanted immersive experience at SkillsUSA.
- More than 120,000 students and career mentors signed up to learn more about modern manufacturing careers during the tour stop in Georgia.
More participants: Other leading manufacturers were also in attendance, engaging students with information about careers in manufacturing. A few of the participants included Caterpillar, John Deere/Korematsu, Volvo NA Group, Vermeer Corp., Toyota, Cummins, Penske and 3M.
A special guest: Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk dedicated a full day to inspiring students and educators. The NAM executive committee member and Manufacturing Institute board member emphasized the “Creators Wanted” mantra in order to remind participants that manufacturers aren’t just recruiting workers—they’re inspiring and empowering creators.
Local coverage: The visit made waves in Georgia, where it was covered on Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta:
- “A huge turnout down here,” said Fox 5’s Paul Milliken, who had multiple live hits at the Creators Wanted immersive experience. “These students are so talented, so incredible … the future of America’s skilled workforce.”
- “This conference—it’s just a really incredible opportunity for these future workforce leaders to come together, meet each other, network and compete.”
WATCH: @GoodDayAtlanta's @PaulFromFox5 reports on #CreatorsWanted traveling to @GWCC_ATL for @SkillsUSA #NLSC23. Check out how we are working to inspire students to consider rewarding careers in modern manufacturing. https://t.co/0GAlhxDmTb pic.twitter.com/BFJeKyXS9G
— The NAM (@ShopFloorNAM) June 20, 2023
Overheard at the event: Plenty of participants shared their excitement, emphasizing opportunities to connect with employers, learn about new skills and find paths to future careers.
- “These are viable careers. They are jobs that you can make quite a bit of money right from the beginning, and at the same time you’re learning core skills that you can carry on for the rest of your life.”
- “We’ve got tons of jobs out there across the U.S. Everybody is looking for talented individuals.”
- “You can explore … different careers that you want to do, [to] help you become a more successful adult in the future.”
The big picture: Over the course of the Creators Wanted Tour, which launched a year and eight months ago:
- 4 million students and career mentors have signed up online to learn more about modern manufacturing careers.
- Over 10,000 students and more than 3,000 career mentors have participated in our immersive experience, with 84% reporting a significantly improved view of modern manufacturing careers.
- The tour has received $5.35 million in positive earned media and 150 million digital impressions.
Making an impact: “Interacting with the students, educators and caregivers, we could truly feel the impact we’re making,” said Chrys Kefalas, managing vice president of brand strategy at the NAM. “This isn’t just about changing minds—we’re creating dreams and altering life trajectories.”
What’s next: The tour keeps on rolling this fall to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and Circleville, Ohio. You can also keep an eye out for new online resources that are coming out this summer, or browse the more than 330,000 open manufacturing jobs and 150,000 training programs listed online.