CHALMETTE, La. — Louisiana will celebrate the importance of manufacturing to the state as well as the career opportunities available to the workforce as part of Manufacturing Week, beginning Sunday and continuing through Oct. 6. From supporting traditional industries to utilizing cutting-edge technologies, Louisiana’s manufacturing industry currently employs more than 139,000 residents. Events are planned across the state to showcase to young people the available opportunities in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector.
LED FastStart® – the nation’s No.1 state workforce development program for the ninth year in a row – is partnering with the Dream It. Do It. network to celebrate Manufacturing Week in Louisiana and to facilitate events taking place throughout the state. As part of Manufacturing Week, LED FastStart and regional and local workforce development are teaming up to conduct the Dream It. Do It. Louisiana 2018 campaign to dispel misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and to facilitate events that encourage students and young adults to consider careers in this profession.
“Manufacturing represents a key component of Louisiana’s strong business economy, and it provides more than 139,000 Louisiana residents with fulfilling careers,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We are proud to participate in the Dream It. Do It. campaign once more to share with the students of Louisiana all the possibilities that are available in this field. With the support of local and regional workforce partners and our community and technical colleges, this campaign will encourage our young people to explore the opportunities available in manufacturing and gain new insights into the careers of tomorrow.”
Through its partnership with the Dream It. Do It. network, LED FastStart is working with 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. Additionally, LED FastStart has updated its website – www.dreamitdoitla.com – that showcases manufacturing opportunities and shares details as to why students should consider it as a beneficial career choice. The informative, interactive site serves to educate students and career-influencers, such as parents and counselors, about the industry. The site also features information on LED FastStart’s Certification for Manufacturing, highlighting the program as a gateway to entering the industry.
Established in 2005 by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, the Dream It. Do It. program was developed to showcase the opportunities that are available in the manufacturing industry to youth ranging from elementary school to post-secondary programs. In 2017, the national campaign successfully engaged 405,803 students, 38,630 parents and educators, and 9,633 manufacturers. In Louisiana, the 2017 the state campaign reached 6,309 students, an increase of 55 percent from the previous year, through 117 activities across the state.
“Manufacturing is facing a workforce crisis with half-a-million open jobs open today and millions of unfilled jobs expected in the years to come,” Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee said. “The Manufacturing Institute is working hard to combat this crisis through programs like Dream It. Do It. and Manufacturing Day, or MFG Day. MFG Day, which officially launches on October 5th but extends throughout the month, is an annual event in partnership with our sponsors where factories and technical schools across the country open their doors to parents and students to show the reality of today’s modern manufacturing. Both Dream It. Do It. and MFG Day are critical to Louisiana’s and our country’s futures because they are directly taking on out-of-date stereotypes about manufacturing—the very incorrect perceptions that that too often hold the next generation back from pursuing great careers in manufacturing.”
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. Manufacturing is a key industry in Louisiana, supporting more than 139,000 jobs. 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.
“Louisiana’s third year for delivering the Dream It. Do It. campaign is the perfect way to kick-off and celebrate manufacturing week,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “With nine consecutive years of being ranked the No. 1 state workforce program in the nation, we are proud to have LED FastStart deliver the Dream It. Do It. program once again. We acknowledge the enormous contributions that our manufacturers provide to Louisiana, and we are dedicated to developing the next generation of highly skilled and qualified manufacturing professionals from which they can build their respective teams. Those in the manufacturing field not only directly develop the products we use every day, but their efforts result in thousands of indirect jobs and power a robust, multifaceted economy that positively impacts all of us.”
As part of the 2018 Manufacturing Week celebrations, events will take place across the state, such as facility tours of the Frymaster facility in Shreveport for approximately 90 students from area high schools, and a tour of the CLECO Alternative Energy Center in Crowley, Louisiana, which more than 200 Acadiana area students will visit.
Additionally, a governor’s proclamation will be presented at Nunez Community College, which is also participating in the Manufacturing Week celebration. Nunez Community College has partnered with aerospace leader Boeing and its operations at the Michoud Assembly Facility to develop and deliver training programs that directly match the skills required for work at Michoud. A $1 million grant has been provided by Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to develop a certification program in aerospace manufacturing. Currently, 15 Nunez students are participating in this certification program.
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 46 programs across the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Image/Dream-It-Do-It/Dream-It-Do-It.aspx