The Creators Wanted Tour marked several milestones yesterday, as it kicked off the 10th stop around the U.S. and its first-ever appearance at a major golf tournament.
In the swing of things: With generous support from Dow, the Creators Wanted Tour—a joint initiative of the NAM and its workforce development and education partner, The Manufacturing Institute—arrived in Midland, Michigan, this week for the LPGA Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.
- The tour’s goal: to educate and excite students, parents, teachers and other mentors across the country about careers in modern manufacturing—in part with trips through an immersive series of “escape rooms” where participants get hands-on with advanced manufacturing, learn about the creative skills at work in the industry and have fun solving riddles and puzzles that unpack key information about manufacturing careers.
- Dow recently announced that it is doubling its initial Creators Wanted campaign commitment to $2 million, which will help ensure continued tour stops and more outreach to the next generation of manufacturers.
Competitors needed: For the U.S. to remain competitive on the world stage, its manufacturing sector requires willing, dedicated talent, Dow Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Jim Fitterling told the audience at the tour stop’s kickoff event on Wednesday. Fitterling joined representatives from the NAM, the MI and the Michigan Manufacturers Association.
- “The competitiveness of America’s workforce is critical,” Fitterling said. “If we want those supply chains back here, it isn’t a labor cost issue. It’s really [about] skills, and it’s also [about worker] interest.”
- The industry has averaged 800,000 job openings every month for more than a year, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons noted.
Not your grandparents’ manufacturing: The speakers pointed out that manufacturers must counteract the outdated and erroneous perceptions about their industry.
- One of the Creators Wanted Tour’s measurable goals by 2025 is “to change the perception for parents from 27% [favorability regarding manufacturing], where we began just a couple years ago, to 50%,” Lee said.
The last say: Careers that start on factory floors in manufacturing facilities can lead to leadership roles, Fitterling reminded the audience.
- “Many generations of people in manufacturing [at Dow] have had great careers, and some have even gone on to lead companies out of that background,” he said. “We want to show students what’s possible and make sure that we use this [Creators Wanted] platform to get that message out and have the impact that we want to have throughout the United States.”
Coming up next: The Creators Wanted Tour will come to several cities, including Columbia, South Carolina, Chicago and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in fall 2022.
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