Celebrating Innovation: Pennsylvania Students Spotlight Manufacturing Excellence

What’s So Cool About ManufacturingSubmitted Image

HARRISBURG, PA — In a vibrant showcase of creativity and industry insight, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger and Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Deputy Secretary Dan Kuba, in collaboration with manufacturing leaders, gathered Wednesday to unveil the victors of the ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing’ Student Video Contest Awards, hosted by the Manufacturers Resource Center.

The ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing’ initiative comprises 11 annual regional contests where students statewide delve into the realm of manufacturing careers, crafting video profiles of companies that captivate both minds and hearts.

Secretary Siger lauded the winners and participants, stating, “Congratulations to the winners, and every student team that submitted a video this year. The Shapiro Administration is proud of these efforts to show what’s so cool about manufacturing in Pennsylvania!” He further emphasized the remarkable talent and creativity displayed by the young participants, expressing confidence in the future of Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector.

The top honors at the sixth annual statewide ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Awards’ were bestowed upon:

  • First Place: Broughal Middle School, Northampton County – featuring Weaver Popcorn
  • Second Place: Greater Johnstown High School, Cambria County – featuring JWF Industries
  • Third Place: Bangor Area Middle School, Northampton County – featuring C.F. Martin & Co., Inc. (Martin Guitar)
  • Statewide Viewers Choice Recognition: Chestnut Ridge High School, Bedford County – featuring Creative Composites Group.

L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker underscored the significance of engaging Pennsylvania’s future workforce, stating, “Today’s celebration is a powerful example of why it’s so important to engage the upcoming workforce in Pennsylvania. These students, through their creative and innovative lens, have brought the manufacturing industry to life.” She commended the collaborative spirit that underpins the contest, shaping the future workforce through shared endeavors.

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Rich Hobbs, President & CEO of Manufacturers Resource Center, highlighted the core mission of ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing,’ stating, “The goal of What’s So Cool has always been to make manufacturing attractive and cool in the eyes of middle school students so that a career in manufacturing and technical school education is on their radar.” He commended the dedication of the Shapiro Administration in expanding opportunities to cultivate a robust workforce, aligning with Governor Josh Shapiro’s vision of fortifying Pennsylvania’s workforce through enhanced education and training avenues.

With over 1,200 student videos in the ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Video Library,’ featuring over 600 Pennsylvania manufacturers, the initiative has garnered participation from more than half of all Pennsylvania school districts since its inception in 2013. This contest stands as a testament to the state’s commitment to fostering innovation and preparing the next generation for success in the dynamic landscape of manufacturing.

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