BATON ROUGE, La. — LED FastStart® – the No.1 state workforce development program in the nation – and the Dream It. Do It. network have partnered to celebrate National Manufacturing Week in Louisiana, which will take place Oct. 3 through Oct. 7. As part of National Manufacturing Week, LED FastStart and regional and local workforce development partners have developed the Dream It. Do It. Louisiana campaign to dispel misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and to facilitate events that encourage students and young adults to consider careers in this profession.
In support of Dream It. Do It. Louisiana, LED FastStart has developed a website – www.dreamitdoitla.com – that positions manufacturing as a first-choice career option for students. The informative, interactive site serves to educate students and career-influencers, such as parents and counselors, about the industry. The site also features a section on LED FastStart’s Certification for Manufacturing, highlighting C4M as a gateway to entering the industry.
“Louisiana is proud to join Dream It. Do It. to encourage our youth to explore and pursue careers in the manufacturing sector,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The manufacturing field is a such a vital industry in our state, providing fulfilling careers to thousands of our residents and fostering valuable and innovative projects. To bring this initiative to Louisiana students, with the help of local and regional workforce partners, as well as our community and technical colleges, is a fun, educational and pragmatic way to share all of the opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide as we develop tomorrow’s workforce. The First Lady and I stand in support of initiatives such as this to encourage new educational opportunities for Louisiana students.”
Developed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, the Dream It. Do It. initiative is structured to showcase the available opportunities in manufacturing to youth ranging from elementary school to post-secondary programs. LED FastStart has partnered with the Dream It. Do It. network and regional and local partners around the state to increase manufacturing awareness by scheduling and planning tours of manufacturing facilities, school presentations and visits to community and technical colleges.
“We are so proud to have Dream It. Do It. Louisiana as part of our national network to change the image of manufacturing and attract youth into manufacturing careers,” said Jennifer McNelly, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute. “The industry has an opportunity to mitigate the skills gap by investing in our youth to pursue manufacturing.”
With only 35 percent of parents saying they would encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing, the Manufacturing Institute launched the Dream It. Do It. initiative in 2005. The purpose of the initiative is to combat any negative perceptions of the industry. Today, the manufacturing industry in Louisiana and around the country relies heavily on advanced technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and fast-paced work environments, which require advanced skills and result in impressive salaries. In 2015, the national campaign successfully engaged 426,000 students, 76,000 parents and educators, and 8,000 manufacturers.
“As the No. 1 state workforce program in the nation for seven years in a row, LED FastStart is a natural fit to facilitate the Dream It. Do It. initiative in Louisiana,” said Secretary Don Pierson, Louisiana Economic Development. “We know the tremendous value our manufacturers provide to our state, and we know how much they value a robust, well-established and highly skilled manufacturing workforce from which to build their teams. Developed with the support of regional and local partners, and the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, the Dream It. Do It. campaign will not only foster the next generation of our manufacturing workforce, but it will also showcase the value of a career in manufacturing to Louisiana students.”
Manufacturing is a key industry in Louisiana. The state has more than 4,500 companies in the manufacturing industry, supporting more than 137,000 jobs. In 2015, average manufacturing earnings were 32 percent higher than those in service industries. To further facilitate workforce growth in the manufacturing industry, LED FastStart has developed the Certification for Manufacturing program, or C4M, for companies across the state that have significant need for workers with entry-level manufacturing skills. The C4M program is currently being taught in Louisiana high schools and community and technical colleges.
About Dream It. Do It.
The Dream It. Do It. network is a unique national network of professionals dedicated to engaging, educating and employing today’s students in high-quality manufacturing jobs while educating career-influencers like parents and educators. The network currently spans 44 programs across 40 states. For more information, visit http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Image/Dream-It-Do-It/Dream-It-Do-It.aspx