NEPIRC Builds “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” in Northeastern PA

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NEPIRC’s 2nd Season Renews Excitement About Careers in Manufacturing as Program Continues to Expand Across the State

“We are very excited to launch season two of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” competition in our region,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President/CEO. “This program is uniquely successful because it promotes STEM education in a hands-on, practical way."

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) is proud to announce they are kicking-off their second season of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” video contest for middle school students.

The Northeast “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest gives 8th graders from schools in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Wayne 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 awards show where student teams and their manufacturers are recognized for their efforts.

“We are very excited to launch season two of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” competition in our region,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President/CEO. “This program is uniquely successful because it promotes STEM education in a hands-on, practical way. It shows students a realistic image of modern manufacturing and creates a new understanding of opportunities within Pennsylvania’s largest industry. Thank you to all our schools, regional manufacturers and partners for helping make this program such a success.”

The contest was created to modernize the image of manufacturing and encourage students to consider manufacturing career paths. In its second year, NEPIRC’s contest will field 11 middle school teams, who 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. Teams later edit their footage and translate what they find to be “cool” about that company into a short video. Other students, faculty, parents and citizens throughout the region then place online “votes” for their favorite video using methods akin to many of today’s talent-search television shows.

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 mid-March 2019. Judges will determine winning videos in a variety of other categories, and at the end of March, students, parents, educators, manufacturing leaders, community sponsors, local legislators and project partners will gather for an award ceremony to acknowledge the winning teams.

This year’s “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest is sponsored by Wells Fargo, Keystone College, the PPL Foundation, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and NEPIRC’s Board of Directors.

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

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About Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center:
NEPIRC is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing world-class professional services exclusively to manufacturers throughout northeastern and northern Pennsylvania since 1988. NEPIRC works with manufacturing clients on consultative engagements designed to address their unique challenges and maximize their profitability. NEPIRC promotes manufacturing in the region and helps small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results in today's technology-driven economy. NEPIRC is committed to providing solutions to the region's emerging need for workforce development strategies that support manufacturing now and in the future.

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.

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