EXTON, PA — As the nation continues to face a reported 500,000 unfilled jobs in the manufacturing industry, students from across Chester and Delaware Counties were recognized Wednesday evening for their work showcasing local manufacturers in the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” student video contest.
Over the past year, local students teamed up virtually with area manufacturers to create 2-minute video profiles that feature what the manufacturers produce, how they make their products, and how working in a technology-driven environment can be a rewarding career. Videos were reviewed by a panel of judges and the public cast more than 32,000 votes for the Viewer’s Choice Award during three days of online voting.
Organized by the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Manufacturing Alliance of Chester & Delaware Counties (MACC/DC), the following winning schools and videos were announced:
- Outstanding Overall Video – Springton Lake Middle School’s profile of New Way Air Bearings
- Viewer’s Choice Award – Owen J. Roberts Middle School’s profile of R-V Industries, Inc.
The following schools and manufacturers were also recognized for excellence:
- Great Valley Middle School’s profile of Southco
- Octorora Junior High School’s profile of United Safety & Survivability Corporation
- Penn’s Grove Middle School’s profile of ifm Prover
- Phoenixville Area Middle School’s profile of Bender, Inc.
Manufacturing is critical to Pennsylvania’s economy, accounting for nearly 12% of the state’s total output each year or roughly $93 billion. However, a 2018 skills gap study from the National Association of Manufacturers predicts as many as 2.4 million well-paid manufacturing jobs in the United States will be unfilled by 2028.
“Manufacturing today is not the manufacturing of days old,” says Gary W. Smith, President and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council. “Young people need a chance to explore these exciting careers and see there are great opportunities for family-sustaining jobs in the industry.”
“When you’re a manufacturer, you’re a creator and you have the opportunity to make things that improve people’s lives,” says Eric Stone of Genesis Packaging Technologies and program chair of the Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties. “By partnering our manufacturing leaders with students and educators, we’re developing the next generation of a skilled manufacturing workforce here in Chester and Delaware Counties.”
Sponsors of the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” student video competition and awards ceremony include CCRES as Platinum Sponsor, Delaware County Community College as Gold Sponsor and Silver Sponsors ifm Prover, Kreischer Miller, Malvern Bank, New Way Air Bearings, ONExia and RETTEW.
The awards ceremony and all videos can be found on the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” website at https://www.whatssocool.org/contests/chester-delaware/.
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