Utah’s manufacturing community is committed to developing a skilled manufacturing workforce. As part of that commitment, Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA) employers have led efforts this past year to create, track and evaluate a targeted education and messaging campaign for talent pipeline development.
Through a $250,000 grant provided by the Department of Workforce Services, as well as financial and in-kind contributions from Utah manufacturers, over 400 companies and eight Utah post-secondary institutions piloted a comprehensive statewide outreach and messaging campaign dubbed “Make Manufacturing Your Future.”
The major objectives for the campaign were to educate adult learners and graduating high school students about manufacturing as a valid career pathway and to increase statewide enrollment in technician-level manufacturing training within one year by 150 students.
UMA used a baseline of 674 total students enrolled Sept. 30, 2016, with a pilot goal to enroll 824 students by Sept. 30, 2017. As of July 21, the number of new enrollees in programs such as advanced manufacturing, automation, welding and computer-control machining totaled 1,612 statewide, exceeding the project goal by 938 new enrollees. Approximately 33 percent of these new enrollees represented high school students who opted to jump-start education through concurrent manufacturing coursework from a regional post-secondary institution.
“We are very pleased with the success of the 'Make Manufacturing Your Future' campaign,” UMA said in a release. “It has been an incredible success in reaching out to and enrolling future employees in manufacturing- related career pathways.”
The "Make Manufacturing Your Future" campaign focused on a consistent look, feel and message through its website www.exploremfg.org; coordinated social media campaign via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and employers and education partner messaging at career fairs and onsite company visits.
Metrics contributing to the 1,612 new enrollees showed over 5,787 students had been exposed to manufacturing-specific pathways through targeted activities and 11,834 new contacts were established through social media channels.
“This campaign was successful, we believe, in part because of outreach efforts in the world where millennials live. Social media is all around us and has been a very effective method of educating today’s generation of the tremendous possibilities of a career in manufacturing,” said Todd Bingham, president and CEO of UMA.