Last year, 834 events were held throughout the lower 48 contiguous states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. This was nearly triple the number of events from 2012. NAM’s post-Manufacturing Day surveys, completed by more than 41 percent of the event hosts, project that more than 35,000 people participated in the Manufacturing Day program, and more than 23,000 of them were students. That is a 500 percent increase over the previous year.
The average length of an event was nearly four hours. Fifty-six percent of the host companies that responded to the survey say that they collaborated with other manufacturers or regional organizations in the planning and execution of their event. So, in addition to the community awareness they have generated with the nonmanufacturing segment of their community, members are building collaborative relationships with others in the manufacturing sector—some of whom are current and potential customers. This is a wonderful bonus to participation.
Our company, Richmond Corrugated, participated in the event at our plant in North Carolina. Wilmington Box Company in Burgaw, N.C., hosted an event with more than 100 attendees. Hobbs Goodwin, general manager of Wilmington Box, reported a huge success, and offered plant tours, live press demonstrations and corrugated promotional giveaways, a special Manufacturing Day cake, refreshments, and pig pickin’. A local bluegrass trio provided live entertainment. The events received tremendous publicity with articles and photos covered by the local Chamber of Commerce, the Pender Post newspaper, and the North Carolina Industrial Extension.
The message I would like to convey to all my fellow members is to consider opening your plant to the public for the Manufacturing Day event on Friday, October 3, 2014. Manufacturing Day gives us all a chance to show off what our companies do, demonstrate our employees’ pride in their work, and encourage talented people—many of them students—to consider a career in our industry. So start planning your event now.
Let me also take this opportunity to urge you to save the date for our annual AICC/FBA 2014 Washington Fly-In, on June 9–10, 2014, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. We are calling on all AICC members to participate in this event, where you will have the opportunity to visit with your legislators and voice your concerns about issues facing your business.
Mark Williams is president and CEO of Richmond Corrugated, Richmond, Va., and is Chairman of AICC’s Government Affairs Committee. Williams can be reached at (804) 222-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.