Pat Lee with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association

National Manufacturing Day as a new U.S. holiday?  I say yes!  And so does Pat Lee, Director of Marketing for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA).  In fact, she and FMA are right in the middle of a major effort, along with folks from NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute to make it happen.

fmaMark down October 4th and get ready for the 2nd Manufacturing Day.  This year 17,000 visitors are expected to participate in over 500 events in all 50 states.  Think about the impact this can and will have on kids as they consider and embark on their career paths.  Think about the impact this can and will have on elected officials who need to know that the high tech automation in manufacturing can be a massive generator of good, new, high paying jobs.  Think about the impact on educators who will be better able to steer their best and brightest students toward careers in manufacturing.

Take Pat Lee’s advice, check out Manufacturing Day and figure out how you can participate!

And that’s not all Pat had to share with us!  Familiar with Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs?  It’s the FMA’s foundation dedicated to helping us avoid an unprecedented shortage of skilled workers.  We already have 600,000 job openings in the U.S. crying for people with the skills to fill them.  The summer camps for kids and post-secondary scholarships from Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs will go a long way to help avert the skills shortage nightmare.

Let’s help them dispel the myth that these jobs are low paying, dirty, dangerous and mostly a man’s work.

We also discussed apprenticeships with Pat.  “Bring ‘em back!” she says.  You could feel her frustration with the fact that most leaders in manufacturing see the crying need for internships and apprenticeships, but are befuddled about how to actually implement effective programs to make them happen.  Wouldn’t you know it, she’s wrapped up in an FMA sponsored conference for certified education centers and manufacturers to fix that problem.

This interview is yet another “must hear.”  We need more people with Pat Lee-style passion!


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  1. I have been in mfg as a QA Tech since 1983 and it has been my experience that the 90′s were definitely the best time to be in this field as far as pay and benefits are concerned. I worked in Florida, California and now Colorado and I am making now what I was making in the 90′s. Now I am better qualified with more training, on the job and classroom, and still have not broken the $60,000 per year pay scale. I am sure that this is why people are influenced to go to other jobs. Could it be the area or is it the job itself? Who knows!

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