October 4: National Manufacturing Day
Southeast Michigan lives and breathes manufacturing—and our kids are no exception. I recently had the pleasure of welcoming 700+ amazing middle school students at Schoolcraft College in Livonia to kick off Manufacturing Day 2019. Manufacturing Day is an opportunity for students to get a firsthand look at what today’s engineers, technicians and other staff do each day at advanced manufacturing facilities across the region. Companies of all sizes opened their doors to provide a close look at their design labs, testing centers and manufacturing operations. Students heard directly from working professionals about their jobs in manufacturing and what skills are needed to attain them. The goal of Manufacturing Day is to inspire students to explore the broad range of high-paying, fulfilling job opportunities in southeast Michigan and discover if there is a career just right for them. If we are going to address our workforce challenges in Michigan, we must embrace opportunities like Manufacturing Day to expose students to STEM concepts and help them find their passion in manufacturing at a young age. I have spent my career in economic and workforce development, creating job training programs and bringing manufacturing opportunities to students throughout the Midwest. In Congress, I’ve continued working to ensure that our children are prepared to thrive in the 21st century economy. As Chairwoman of the Science, Space & Technology Research and Tech Subcommittee, I am proud to have introduced multiple bipartisan bills to improve and strengthen manufacturing in our district, including the Building Blocks of STEM Act and the American Manufacturing Leadership Act, both of which recently passed the House of Representatives with unanimous bipartisan support. Respectively, these bills ensure STEM funding is more equitably allocated to younger students, with a focus on young girls in STEM, and strengthen our nation’s network of manufacturing institutes, two of which are in southeast Michigan, that work together to maintain U.S. leadership in advanced manufacturing and workforce development. Michigan is already home to the greatest workforce in the nation, and with initiatives like these, it only grows stronger. I look forward to continued opportunities to celebrate Michigan’s manufacturing past, present, and future.