Friday, September 26, 2014

It’s Never Too Soon To Celebrate. . . Especially When It’s Focused On Manufacturing!

Now in its third year, National Manufacturing Day continues to grow in awareness and involvement. This year, at the time of this writing, there are over 1300 different events planned for the week leading up and including Fridays Manufacturing Day extravaganza. These events are both physical plant tours at manufacturing facilities across North America, and virtual events for those that can’t get away from home, school or work.  These scheduled events are a blend of open to the public drop-in open houses to private invitation only events. For a complete listing or to find an event near you, go to www.mfgday.com and filter for events by country, state, city or host name.

In Michigan, MMTC and MMTC clients, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Macomb County and the Macomb Intermediate School District and many other partners are coming together to host 58 events across the state. This is up from 12 last year. We’re so excited to see the growing interest in the great products and services being produced right here at home.

Of course, these great events wouldn’t be as successful without our great sponsors. The Manufacturing Day sponsors this year, by sponsorship are:
Platinum:  Shell Lubricants




We are thankful to have the Science Channel back this year as our Media Partner. They will be kicking off a week-long celebration of manufacturing leading up to Friday’s main events with “How it’s Made” Week. Starting Monday, September 29th, Science Channel will air more than 200 favorite episodes of “How It’s Made” and “How It’s Made: Dream Cars,” culminating in new episodes of the series at 10PM ET/PT on Friday, Oct 3rd. The complete schedule includes the inaugural episode of “How It’s Made” on Monday, Sept 29th, at 9PM ET/PT and the momentous 1000th product featured on the show at 9:30 PM ET/PT that same night. New episodes will begin on Friday, Oct 10th at 9:00 PM ET/PT only on the Science Channel. Please check local listings and help support our Manufacturing Day partners.

The Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education will produce the first MFG DAY virtual event this year. You can attend from anywhere. This live virtual field trip will provide an inside look at the plant and careers in advanced manufacturing through an interactive event hosted from the Alcoa Davenport facility from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Friday, Oct 3rd. To register, go to the www.mfgday.com website or visit Manufacture Your Future and click on virtual field trip.

Another exciting partner, new for this year, is the American Made Movie. This project, being premiered at various mfgday events around the country, follow these filmmakers as they traveled the U.S. to highlight small businesses and its effects on the local communities in which they operate. It features interviews with a variety of individuals to discuss the importance of manufacturing and features some great American Made Products.

This event, while great for Manufacturing, is a symptom of a great need. The large volume of support and host companies is proof positive that things are moving in a positive direction. A large number of area school districts, colleges and universities are partnering this year and this will be a huge win for manufacturers if even half of the students involved with these events consider manufacturing as a viable career.

We love it . . . but we are a bit biased. So, hold onto your hats and get ready . . . This year’s Manufacturing Day Week should prove to be an exciting thrill ride of events and spotlights on Michigan’s manufacturing heritage and its future opportunities.



Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Michigan’s Manufacturers Are Set to Celebrate National Manufacturing Day!


Move over Halloween. There’s another holiday in town during October, and Michigan’s finest are gearing up to celebrate. We’re talking about National Manufacturing Day, which is set for Friday, October 3rd!

manufacturing day 2014
Established in 2012, National Manufacturing Day was created to raise awareness about U.S. manufacturing. Now in its third year, the goal of the celebration is to change the nation’s perception of manufacturing careers and increase the public’s knowledge about the industry’s value to the U.S. economy.

Manufacturing Day is so important because the general public is unaware of how vital manufacturing is to our country. Manufacturing supports more than 17.4 million U.S. jobs and comprises 12.5% of our GDP. In fact, U.S. manufacturing is the eighth largest economy in the world! You can click here to learn more stats in an infographic from the National Institute of Standards & Technology.

While sharing statistics about our industry is helpful, Manufacturing Day’s goal is to make a long-lasting impact on local communities through live experiences. That’s why manufacturers, educational institutions and associations host open houses and events for the public on October 3rd. Typically, this involves inviting students and educators, community leaders, local businesses, media members and federal and state legislative representatives to view their facilities and learn about their operations and processes.

These types of open houses and events give outsiders, who typically aren't exposed to manufacturing, a chance to experience the diverse career opportunities available in the field and see how local products are created. Open houses are particularly helpful in shaping the younger generation’s perception of manufacturing, which is critical to addressing our nation’s skills gap. They get the opportunity to see that manufacturing has a wide range of job possibilities such as welders, electricians, fabricators, sales & marketing, human resources, researchers and more!

Many Michigan manufacturers are signed up to host events starting as early as September 29th. You can click here to visit the National Manufacturing Day website and see a list of the local manufacturers who are participating. As of the time of this posting, there are more than 40 events scheduled to occur around the state!

If you are interested in learning more about National Manufacturing Day, we encourage you to visit www.mfgday.com. And it’s not too late to sign up to host an open house or event! In addition to supporting the mission of National Manufacturing Day, you can gain also gain great exposure for your company. The national website has a media kit and numerous resources to help you maximize the effectiveness of your event. You can also support Manufacturing Day on social media or share some of the great videos from their annual video contest!

Finally, while we love U.S. manufacturing, we really really really love Michigan manufacturing. We’ll be more than happy to help you host your own event, just contact us at inquiry@mmtc.org and let us know what you need. This is also a great reminder to participate in our Proud to Manufacture in Michigan program! Click here to learn more.

So mark your calendars for Friday, October 3rd and share the news that manufacturing matters!

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org

Monday, September 15, 2014

Value of Made in America

As more and more attention is focused on manufacturing and what gets made where, the question is being asked . . . . What does it mean to be ‘made in America’?

The Federal Trade Commission has long reigned in this area, with specific guidelines spelled out on its website. Under tools for consumers, the FTC states “. . . there is no law requiring manufacturers and marketers to make a “Made in USA” claim. But, if a business chooses to make the claim, the FTC’s Made in USA standard applies. Made in USA means that ‘all or virtually all’ the product has been made in America.”  

That makes everything clear, right? Not exactly.

There is also the Buy America Provisions, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which places requirements on manufactured products for federal funds distributed to federal, state, and local governments. These funds, when distributed, must adhere to specific requirements relative to the final products. They must contain a certain percentage of domestic or USA manufactured goods or components.

So, what does it mean to Buy American or to purchase products with the ‘Made in America’ label.

It’s true that it’s a challenge to sustain oneself on American made products, but those days appear to be dwindling. As more and more people take up the challenge to outfit a home or a room with American made products or to travel the US using the same, it’s truly amazing what treasures can be found. In fact, American Made Movie will premiere at various Manufacturing Day events across the country on October 3rd, highlighting the successes of companies that have had a positive impact on domestic manufacturing jobs.

The Department of Commerce is evaluating the interest in creating a certifiable standard for the Made in America Label. What value would this have to consumers? What value for Manufacturers?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments. 

Since 1991, MMTC has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses compete and grow. Through personalized services fitted to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.mmtc.org