If you are under 40 and have chosen a career in manufacturing, I am sure you have been asked the question – “Why?” We know that manufacturing is an exciting industry full of opportunities for creativity, continually changing technology and a place where you can make a real impact. However, it is not viewed as a glamourous job. Everyone values high-tech jobs and thinks that Google and Apple are the only place to be.
Every gen-xer and millennial loves technology. What would we do without all of our gadgets. You stamp, form and roll the parts and pieces for all of the creature comforts we take for granted. When someone asks why you work in manufacturing, have them take out their cell phone. In their hand they hold the connection to everything they find important. It connects them to family and friends and serves as a diary, a scrapbook and a personal assistant. Explain that you made that! Or maybe you made or assembled parts to the truck that delivered it. You may not be personally involved in making an iPhone, but you or someone just like you helped make it happen.
The first time I visited a metalforming company, I saw a small part being bent and shaped. It seemed insignificant. My tour guide explained that the part is the small clip that holds my dishwasher closed. I went home that evening and examined all of my appliances looking for parts that metalforming companies can make. Amazing! They are everywhere. I realized then, that I appreciated metalformers more than I realized. I don’t want to wash dishes, I want to close that door and push a button. That small clip is not insignificant at all; it means a lot to me and everyone else who doesn’t enjoy washing dishes.
Why manufacturing? Why metalforming? I say, “why not?” The next time someone asks you “why,” invite them on a tour. By the time they leave your facility, they will say “why not” and maybe even go home and examine their appliances.
Are you tired of explaining manufacturing? Join PMA and the next generation of manufacturing leaders at FABTECH on November 16 for a discussion and presentation on Manufacturing Rebranded: How You Can Change the Conversation and Change The World. For more information, see the event page.
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