Industry Perspective from Florida's Manufacturing Day and Month

Across Florida, industry hosts continue to increase their support for Manufacturing Day and Month tours in hopes of inspiring the next generation of industry workers. In their efforts, industry hosts have been able to impact students’ perspective on manufacturing and have enlightened them to new career pathways. However, from the industry hosts' perspective, Manufacturing Day and Month does not usually yield immediate impact, but is a long-term investment into the future.

Over the years industry partners across Florida remain committed to Manufacturing Day and Month with hopes to attract fresh talent thereby narrowing the skills gap against the backdrop of an aging workforce. Industry hosts not only work with school districts to set-up tour(s) for students, they also use company time in getting employees involved in terms of giving presentations and formulating challenges to give students a 360 degree perspective of manufacturing. “Always worth giving back to the community and investing in the next generation. This tour was especially a good use due to the relevance of the class’s subject matter to our industry,” stated one of the industry host in a post event survey.

In addition, many industry hosts go the extra mile by sponsoring the cost of Manufacturing Day and “We believe if we show students our facility, more will be interested in a career in manufacturing.”  
Month T-Shirts, providing free giveaways and even lunch for tour participants. Compared to 2018’s total in-kind and cash donations of $428,677, this year’s donations are approximately $1,222,091. Indeed it is a big investment where the industry hosts cannot immediately track a direct return on investment of company time and resources. Despite the blurred lines, in looking at the post event survey data, 100% of the industry hosts who responded to the survey stated that the tour was a good use of company time and resources. Nearly 58.8% of the industry hosts who responded to the survey stated five or more employees participated in hosting the tour. Of the industry partners who hosted Manufacturing Day and Month tours in 2019, nearly 68.8% stated they have hired students as interns and employees. Of the industry hosts who responded to the survey, over 82% also offer industry tours for local students during the academic year, and approximately 76.5% offer internships and work experiences.

In an effort to further analyze the impact of Manufacturing Day and Month Industry Tours, a 2020 Round Table featuring industry personnel and educators who participated in the event will occur in May. More information on the Round Table will be coming soon and we recommend those that are curious about the Manufacturing Day and Month outcomes to review the 2019 MFG Day Student Responses Report by visiting this link. Educational, marketing tool kits, and best practices resources can be found on the FLATE Wiki website. The 2019 Manufacturing Day and Month gallery along with various other snippets of information are accessible on

Have any questions regarding this article or FLATE resources? Contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at or call at 813-259-6578.

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