DVIRC Expands “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” in the Greater Philadelphia Area

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Philadelphia Region’s 3rd Season Renews Excitement About Careers in Manufacturing as Program Continues to Expand Across the State

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” competition is a unique way to simultaneously promote the value of STEM education and the exciting future of manufacturing to the region,” Barry Miller, President and CEO of DVIRC

The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) is proud to announce they are expanding the Philadelphia Region’s third season of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest to middle school students in 25 area schools.

The contest was created to modernize the image of manufacturing and encourage students to consider manufacturing career paths. Manufacturing companies are struggling to find talent to fill positions due to lack of skill and the retiring of the baby boomers. By challenging themselves to overcome long held misconceptions about manufacturing to find what makes it "cool", students educate and encourage their generation to one day solve this significant hurdle.

The Philadelphia Region “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest gives 8th graders from schools in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties the opportunity to learn about local manufacturers by visiting them to produce a documentary video. The documentary experience offers them a unique window into their host manufacturer, and manufacturing in the region, that they can then present to students across the region in an educational and “cool” way. The season culminates with an award show where student teams and their manufacturers are recognized for their efforts.

“The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” competition is a unique way to simultaneously promote the value of STEM education and the exciting future of manufacturing to the region,” said Barry Miller, President and CEO of DVIRC. “We’re really excited to be able to expand the contest and reach so many young people, who are the future of modern manufacturing in the Philadelphia area. The response of parents, students, educators and manufacturers to this program is outstanding.”

Now entering its third year, DVIRC’s contest will seek to field 25-30 middle school teams, which will each partner with a host manufacturer. Under the supervision of a teacher coach, each team will tour its host manufacturer’s facility to document employee interviews and explore the company’s products and processes through the lens of a GoPro camera. Later, teams edit their footage and translate what they find to be “cool” about that company into a short video. Students, faculty, and parents throughout the region then cast online “votes” for their favorite video.

Student video submissions will be posted on the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” website – http://www.WhatsSoCool.org. Videos will become open to the public for Viewer’s Choice Award voting in late March 2019. Judges will determine winning videos in a variety of other categories, and in April, students, parents, educators, manufacturing leaders, community sponsors, local legislators and project partners will gather for an award ceremony to acknowledge the winning teams.

The DVIRC-led Philadelphia Region "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" program is funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career program.

Visit http://www.WhatsSoCool.org for more information and resources.


About Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center:
DVIRC is a regional economic development organization with a public purpose—to support the profitable growth of small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers. Our vision is to have the region’s manufacturing companies recognized as among the most advanced and innovative manufacturing companies in the world. Our mission is to strengthen regional manufacturing companies by helping them continuously improve their competitiveness and profitable growth. We support manufacturers through three practice areas: customized consulting, training and education, and executive network groups. Since 1988 we have served more than 2,000 manufacturers and generated over $2 Billion in client impact. For more information visit http://www.dvirc.org.

About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?”™:
Developed by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the WSCM program is a video based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths in manufacturing. MRC developed this innovative career awareness program that at its core is "peer marketing" (kids telling kids what's so cool about manufacturing jobs). The contest is showcased on the What's So Cool Website, and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms. The contest is expanding across the Commonwealth and the country. Inside Pennsylvania there will be 16 regions conducting contests this year. This contest gives students the opportunity to connect with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths. This program is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s Training-to-Career grant, part of Governor Tom Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative.

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