MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber and manufacturers’ association – celebrates each October as Manufacturing Month and the first Friday of the month as Manufacturing Day.
Throughout October, WMC, its members and partners, and communities throughout the state will recognize the importance of manufacturing to Wisconsin’s economy. Manufacturing contributes nearly $70 billion to the state’s economy. As the state’s largest industry, it employs one in six Wisconsin workers – the equivalent of nearly half a million jobs.
“Wisconsin is a state that makes things. We should be proud not only of our manufacturing heritage, but we should eagerly look forward to a promising future for the industry,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “Throughout October, we will highlight the importance of manufacturing to our state’s economy, showcase the rewarding careers available and emphasize the need for a well-prepared workforce.”
In celebration of Manufacturing Month and to bring attention to the persistent workforce shortage in manufacturing, WMC released a new video on Friday featuring Cardinal Manufacturing – a student-run business at Eleva-Strum High School that is a model for other schools looking to best-prepare students for careers in manufacturing.
“Nearly three-quarters of Wisconsin businesses believe that students graduating from our public schools are not prepared for the workforce,” added Bauer. “Fortunately, there are several innovative programs at schools around the state, like Cardinal Manufacturing at Eleva-Strum. We should be replicating these ideas across districts to ensure we have deep bench of home-grown talent that can grow our manufacturing industry and our economy.”
In addition to releasing the above video on National Manufacturing Day, WMC plans to host a number of manufacturing-centric events throughout October and engage in a robust campaign on social media. WMC has also partnered once again with Johnson Financial Group to host the eighth annual Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest.
More than 100 Wisconsin-made products were nominated this year, and voters have narrowed down the field to a Top 8. Those products are competing in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness. The ultimate winner will be announced at WMC’s Business Day Event in Madison on October 19. More details can be found at www.madeinwis.com.
Lastly, WMC is currently calling on manufacturers to apply for the prestigious Manufacturer of the Year Awards. The application period is currently open at www.wimoty.com.