Greater Memphis Chamber & Partners Celebrate National Manufacturing Day

Release date: 10/6/2016

 Memphis, Tenn. -- The Greater Memphis Chamber and partners are celebrating National Manufacturing Day this Friday, October 7th, with the goal to promote advanced manufacturing careers in Memphis as well as the educational opportunities to qualify for these jobs. The partners include: The Workforce Investment Network (WIN), Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), BDO, Shelby County Schools and Durham School Services. Six hundred students from twelve Shelby County Schools will tour twelve Memphis manufacturing companies that day.

TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd will be in Memphis for National Manufacturing Day which includes a visit at Smith & Nephew, one of the participating companies who will host students that day.

“Since 2010, Tennessee has gained more than 45,400 net new manufacturing jobs, the largest increase in the U.S.,” said TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd. “Even though Tennessee’s manufacturing sector is growing at a historic rate, roughly one-in-four Tennesseans who work in manufacturing are age 55 or older. That means a big portion of the workforce will reach retirement age in the next decade and manufacturers will need a new crop of talent to ensure this growth continues.”
“We need to let young people know that there are high-quality and high-paying jobs that are in very high demand in manufacturing, but they need to get the necessary skills and education. The great news is that because of the Governor’s Tennessee Promise, those skills can be earned for free,” Boyd added. “The Manufacturing Week events in Memphis today are a tremendous opportunity for students to learn about the potential careers with the manufacturing companies in their own backyard and get a hands-on experience about operations in modern, tech-focused factories.”
“In Memphis, we know just how important manufacturers are to creating jobs to move our city forward. We celebrate National Manufacturing Day and recognize all of our local manufacturing companies for their contributions to our city,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
“National Manufacturing Day has grown each year in Memphis starting from 200 students in 2014 and growing to 600 students this year. It is vital that we showcase to our future workforce the good-paying jobs and career paths these manufacturing companies provide to their employees,” said Phil Trenary, President & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber.

The schools participating this year include: Booker T. Washington High School, Douglass High School, East High School, Hamilton High School, Kingsbury Career Technology Center, Kirby High School, Melrose High School, Mitchell High School, Sheffield High School, Southwest Career Technology Center, Trezevant Career Technology Center and Whitehaven High School. On these tours, students receive information on possible careers within the industry and the paths to get there. The Workforce Investment Network is providing the buses for the tours this year.  Each high school will tour a different manufacturing company which includes: Steel Warehouse, Gibson Guitar, Flextronics, Barnhart Crane, Competition Cams, Jordan Aluminum, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Smith & Nephew, National Guards Products, SFI of Tennessee, Coca-Cola and Medtronic.

 “Smith & Nephew is honored to participate in this year’s Manufacturing Day and we are pleased to show the students of Shelby County how fascinating this field can be,” said Gene Baker, Vice President of Operations for Smith & Nephew. “Inspiring the next generation of manufacturing professionals is especially important to us at Smith & Nephew, as one day it will be these young people who continue our mission to support healthcare professionals in their daily efforts to improve the lives of their patients.”

Over the next decade, it is estimated that nearly 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will be needed and 2 million of those jobs are expected to go unfilled due to manufacturers’ inability to find talent with the required skills according to the co-producers of National Manufacturing Day: National Association of Manufacturers, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The Manufacturing Day in the Mid-South highlights the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy and showcase the rewarding, highly skilled jobs available in manufacturing fields.

For 175 years, the Greater Memphis Chamber has been the lead economic development organization for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,200 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.


Photo Credit: A group of high school students touring Mitsubishi Electric Power Products in 2015.

Photo provided by the Greater Memphis Chamber.