What's So Cool About Manufacturing Lehigh Valley announces Seventh Year Teams

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MRC Celebrates Manufacturing Day by Revealing "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" Lehigh Valley's Student-Manufacturer Teams for Year Seven.

"The program's success is evident by its continued expansion, not just here in Pennsylvania but across the country," said Karen Buck, Manager of Workforce Initiatives at MRC.

The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce the "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" student video contest has commenced its seventh year in the Lehigh Valley, where MRC initiated the program, and that PA Dream Team will partner with a new program to promote STEAM Education in Lehigh Valley High Schools.

The "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" student video contest provides 7th and 8th graders a unique opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers as they use their curiosity and creativity to develop, shoot, edit and produce a "cool" video to document their experiences. The contest, spearheaded by Manufacturers Resource Center and new MRC President & CEO Rich Hobbs, was created to generate excitement that draws students to consider manufacturing career paths. Student-teams will partner with manufacturers in 17 regions across Pennsylvania this year, where their videos will compete, first in regional contests and then in the 3rd Annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” PA Statewide Awards on April 29, 2020, in Harrisburg.

"This program is very exciting, the students love it and so do the manufacturers, and its success is evidenced by its continued expansion, not just here in Pennsylvania but across the country," said Karen Buck, Manager of Workforce Initiatives at MRC. "The benefits to the community are inestimable. Students get to experience, first hand, what modern, cool manufacturing looks like and the manufacturers get to excite the next generation about technology, STEM education, and careers."

In the Lehigh Valley, 31 teams will represent 25 school districts in Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties and partner with 31 manufacturers to produce their video submissions, which will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website WhatsSoCool.org, and will be open to the public for voting in mid-February for the Viewers Choice Award. The program's continued success and growth can be attributed to the efforts MRC, its partners e-MediaWorks and Sahl Communications, Inc., the teachers and students have put forth in the community since its inception, and the many community sponsors committed to its sustainability.
Original funding for "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

The PA Dream Team, now in its fifth season, is a group of young professionals, employed in STEM careers with area manufacturers, who volunteer to share their stories with middle school students about the career opportunities that technical training and STEM education can prepare them for. The PA Dream Team – presented by MRC and sponsored by Bosch Rexroth and Air Products, is expanding PA Dream Team into Berks County in 2020.

Visit WhatsSoCool.org and PA Dream Team for more information and resources.

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 Lehigh Valley contest is expanding across the Commonwealth and the country. Inside Pennsylvania, there will be 17 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, and CTE and STEM education.

About Manufacturers Resource Center:
For nearly 30 years, the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more competitive, adopt lean and agile processes, strategically grow their companies and invest more effectively in their existing human capital. MRC is a nonprofit organization partially funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST-MEP program, as well as the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunity in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.

About PA Dream Team:
The PA Dream Team program introduces K-12 grade students to the value of technical training and STEM education, and to the many career opportunities available in modern manufacturing. PA Dream Team is comprised of young, adult STEM professionals who volunteer their time to visit area schools and other venues throughout the school year, to educate and excite students about STEM careers and technical education opportunities while sharing their personal career stories. The PA Dream Team – presented by MRC and sponsored by Bosch Rexroth and Air Products.

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