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    Michigan has been leading the nation in manufacturing job growth since 2009. However, with new growth comes new challenges as local manufacturers struggle to find talented people to fill those positions.  In response to this trend, The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with local manufacturing businesses in our area, as well as local school districts, the Michigan Manufacturers’ Association and Michigan Works! West Central to help motivate and inspire young people in the area to pursue a career in modern-day manufacturing.  MCACC is working to organize a Manufacturing Day, or MFG Day, event here in Mecosta County.

    MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

    One of MCACC’s key roles in the community is to make sure that the area has the type of climate that allows for job, wage and economic growth.  Without qualified people in these manufacturing positions, growth will remain stagnant, which is why MCACC wants to invigorate the manufacturing climate here in Mecosta County, keeping residents and their families in the area.

    The results of this national campaign have shown an increase in the positive perception of manufacturing as a viable career:

    • Eighty-four percent of students and 90 percent of educators were more convinced that manufacturing provides careers that are both interesting and rewarding.

    • Sixty-four percent of students were more motivated to pursue a manufacturing career.

    • Eighty-eight percent of students and 90 percent of teachers viewed Manufacturing Day events as interesting and engaging. 

    • Eighty-nine percent of manufacturers that hosted Manufacturing Day events saw value in participating, and 86 percent are likely to host an event again in the future.

    The Mecosta County event will feature local manufacturing businesses such as Ice Mountain, Simonds, Bandit Industries, and Haworth. Representatives from these companies, as well as from the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District, the Michigan Manufacturers’ Association and Michigan Works! West Central are collaborating to create a program focused on changing the perception of what manufacturing today really is, in hopes of inspiring the next generation of manufacturers to consider the opportunities that await them in the industry.