Last year, Macomb County in southern Michigan sponsored a student video contest as part of its annual MFG DAY celebration.
Students from all districts were invited to assemble a team, recruit a teacher mentor, and create a video that they felt expressed the essence of MFG DAY in two to three minutes.
The grand prize for the contest was a $1,000 check for the winning team’s school. In addition, each student who worked on the video received a $50 gift card, the school was recognized at the upcoming Career Technical Education Banquet hosted by the Macomb Intermediate School District, and the winning video team was invited to tour the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) studios in Wixom, Mich. What a great way to engage students in events, create connections between schools and manufacturers, and spread the word about MFG DAY!
The Winning VideoStudents at the Frederick V. Pankow Center, a career and technical education high school in Clinton Township, Mich. — including Joshua Brockett, Lindsay Cameron and Matthew Vaillancourt — created a video featuring Fisher & Company, a maker of engineered seating systems and mechanisms in St. Clair Shores, Mich. A piece that features professional production values, this inspiring video took the grand prize.
Here’s a great quote from Paul Zolynsky, the General Manager at Fisher & Company, who is featured in the video, about MFG DAY:
I think it’s important that the high school kids understand what options they have in life. You can be a manufacturer, you can be an engineer. All of our volunteers come from different places. I’ve got controllers, I’ve got engineers, I’ve got quality managers, and they’re all part of this. So if there’s a question to ask, and a student wants to go a different way, then we have all the people that need to answer those questions. When I was a kid and I was in high school, I had no idea what manufacturing was. So 60 kids got at least a glimpse at an option in life.
Other Great Video SubmissionsBesides the winner, the video contest featured lots of great submissions from students around Macomb County. Here are a few of our favorites.
Fraser High School & PT TechThe team from Fraser High School in Fraser, Mich. — including Mackenzie Tolitsky, Tiffany Ingram, Ryan Sanda — partnered with prototyping and low-volume production house PT Tech to create a high-energy entry that touches on the importance of paid apprenticeships and skills while emphasizing the need to transfer manufacturing know-how from one generation to the next
On the subject of skills, here’s a key takeaway from Paul Crow, Skilled Molder at PT Tech, about why molding is a great career choice: “What’s nice about this trade is being a skilled trade, it’s never going to be replaced by a computer. It’s fine craftsmanship which you can take pride in doing and you’ll always have an opportunity to work.”
Romeo High School & Colonial PlasticsAlex Naumovski, Jules Ciacico, Benny Bono, and Harrison Hunt from Romeo High School in Romeo, Mich. worked with Colonial Plastics, the plastic injection molding division of the Colonial Group, to create a three-minute video that features testimonials from senior manufacturers about their enthusiasm for their work and the opportunities available with manufacturing careers. It ends with some powerful reactions from students about how MFG DAY opened their eyes to the possibilities.
As one unnamed student attendee says at the end of the video: “Manufacturing Day was probably one of the best days of the year I’ve had so far. It really opened my eyes to a lot of the capabilities and job opportunities that I can have in the future.”
Utica Center for Science and Industry & Fori AutomationThe entry from Utica Center for Science and Industry, a technology-focused K–12 educational institution in Sterling Heights, Mich., was created using footage shot at Fori Automation, a company in Shelby Township, Mich., that designs and integrates automated systems. The video features great segments of visiting students interacting with different machines and components at the Fori factory.
Paul Meloche, Vice President of Sales at Fori, has a statement in the video that reminds us that career opportunities in the manufacturing sector are more diverse than most imagine: At Fori Automation, we have many different career paths, ranging from sales and estimating into project management, finance, engineering — both mechanical and controls, manufacturing — which would include machine, fabrication, electrical assembly, pipe and wire, and assembly.
Creative Ways to Celebrate ManufacturingThese videos — and video contest — are inspiring examples of creative ways to celebrate MFG DAY and manufacturing.
But Macomb County’s experience is just one of many MFG DAY success stories. If you read through the dozens of accounts Hosts and others have shared on mfgday.com, you’ll get a sense of the amazing ways people around the country have rallied around the idea of devoting a day to manufacturing.
Even more awesome to contemplate is the fact that these documented stories are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Do you have a great MFG DAY story to share? Tell us about it by sharing your story!