Manufacturing Day is right around the corner, and AEM is looking forward to celebrating the industry and commemorating the efforts of manufacturers to educate the public about careers in the manufacturing industry, connect with their communities, and to bring positive awareness to the skilled trades.
The association is committed to celebrating manufacturing, and Manufacturing Day serves as an opportunity to inspire the workforce of tomorrow and showcase the value and overall importance of making things. With that in mind, AEM recently caught up with Eric Miller, president of AEM member company Miller Fabrication Solutions, to discuss opportunities within the manufacturing field and the company’s plans for Manufacturing Day. Miller also highlighted some of the benefits of working in the manufacturing industry and shared his insights into how his company is connecting with the community.
AEM: Manufacturing Day serves to raise awareness among students, parents, educators and the general public about modern manufacturing and the rewarding careers available. With that in mind, what are some reasons why people looking for quality employment should consider manufacturing and the skilled trades as a potential path for themselves?
Miller: The opportunities available with a career in manufacturing are boundless; Miller Fabrication Solutions, for instance, has open roles ranging from entry-level utility personnel to quality techs to sales associates. Even within these roles, we’re constantly offering personnel advancement opportunities to ensure employees’ personal growth needs are met while satisfying the growth objectives of our organization. Full training is also provided for candidates who lack experience, but fulfill our core values -- (coachability, respect, honesty and accountability).
Beyond the sheer variety of work, there are numerous benefits available to the manufacturing workforce of today. At Miller, we offer a Total Rewards Package, which encompasses excellent health care benefits as well as scholarship access, mobile plan discounts, profit-sharing and much more. We recognize that employees have a choice in how they spend their time, and we want to ensure we’re giving them good reason to apply and stay employed with Miller.
AEM: What are some ways Miller Fabrication Solutions works to spread the message about potential opportunities at the company or in the industry at-large?
Miller: We have very active recruiting and marketing functions at Miller. Our teams work in tandem to communicate our career opportunities through local and regional school, community and workforce development outreach, as well as through social media, mass media advertising, public relations, digital advertising and other channel promotions.
One specific way we participate is by partnering with educational and nonprofit career training organizations who contribute to developing tomorrow’s workforce. This year, for example, we have helped shape curriculum for Clarion University’s robotics programming concentration and donated four tool cribs to New Century Careers, a nonprofit technical skills development organization.
AEM President Dennis Slater weighed in on what Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month mean to him, and why spreading the message of equipment manufacturing industry's accomplishments should be an everyday task. Read more.
AEM: What activities is Miller Fabrication Solutions facilitating for Manufacturing Day this year as part of the company's efforts to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the economy and the importance of attracting, training and retaining the workforce of tomorrow?
Miller: We’re excited to once again host in-person plant tours and job fairs at each of our three facilities in western Pennsylvania. Our Manufacturing Day celebrations don’t end after Oct. 1, however – just as we did last year, we’ll be hosting Manufacturing Month throughout the remainder of October with free, virtual events. (More information about these events, including registration, is available at https://www.millerfabricationsolutions.com/events/2021-10/.)
AEM: Why do you feel it's so important for your organization to participate in Manufacturing Day each year?
Miller: Manufacturing Day is the single day each year that the whole nation gets together to celebrate the industry. As a supplier-partner to OEMs, our work tends to receive less of the “spotlight.” This event gives students and the community a behind-the-scenes peek at what we do and how our work helps to produce the heavy equipment people see on construction jobs, railways, mining sites and in industrial maintenance applications.
AEM: If you had to provide any advice to other organizations for how to get the most out of their Manufacturing Day activities, what would you say?
Miller: As we all know, manufacturing is competing fiercely for workers today and the workforce of tomorrow. It’s our responsibility to the next generation of talent to educate them and tell our compelling stories as to how these future employees will benefit from manufacturing careers and help propel our companies to the next level of success. Now is the time to retire your old tactics and be creative, be inspiring and be authentic to your brand. The interest will follow!
For more perspectives from AEM members, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.