Autumn is one of our favorite seasons, and not just because it includes sweaters and pumpkin-flavored things. No, autumn is one of our favorite seasons because October is National Manufacturing Month! It’s the time of year in which we can step back, admire, and recognize how manufacturers build almost everything in our world today—the computers we use, the food we eat, and the homes we live in.
What’s exciting is that in the 21st century, manufacturers build all of those things in more dynamic ways than ever before. We laugh at this classic clip of I Love Lucy in the candy factory assembly line, but the truth is that the momentum of manufacturing is shifting from those types of assembly lines to more technical careers built around computer skills and advanced technology. Assembly lines still exist, to be sure, but they are no longer the entire substance of the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing Day, held on the first Friday of every October, “addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is—and what it isn’t.” There are thousands of events across the country that work with local individuals and communities to host manufacturing events.
In Nebraska, we’re lucky to have some local events as well as access to virtual or online opportunities. Not all events in honor of Manufacturing Day are actually hosted on that Friday, so we’ve included some dates you won’t want to miss.
Northeast Community College: On Friday, October 2 from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm, stop by Northeast Community College’s Norfolk Campus to take a tour and learn about the college’s new Applied Technology Building! Students, parents, and interested guests can visit their brand-new lab outfitted with robotics, CNC milling & turning, and metrology equipment. Dress casually, because you’ll be engaging in hands-on activities throughout—this is Manufacturing Day, after all! You can read more about NCC’s Diversified Manufacturing Technology Program here.
Alcoa Foundation Discovery Tour: Have you ever taken a Live Virtual Field Trip? Your computer will take you all the way to Alcoa Power and Propulsion in Whitehall, Michigan: “Students will be transported inside one of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world to learn about the key components that keep our planes in the air and keep us safe when we fly.” Alcoa’s facilities are massive, so you’ll get to check out their over four football-fields worth of manufacturing space, observe high-tech robotics, and meet engineers from the company. Register at the link above.
Kawasaki Motors Tour: You do need to sign up for this tour in advance, but anyone who’s taken a Kawasaki tour will tell you that it is more than worth it. On October 2 from 7:30 am-2:00 pm, enjoy a 60-75 minute tour about the technology necessary to manufacture railcars, careers in manufacturing, and how to build skills to help future manufacturers. Make sure to wear long pants and close-toed shoes! And don’t forget to pre-register at the link above.
We can’t wait until Manufacturing Day arrives! If you attend any of these events, be sure to tweet us at @nebraskamfg and let us know what you think!