Greater Memphis Chamber & Partnership Host Regional National Manufacturing Day

Release date: 10/1/2015

More than 500 high school students from Shelby County Schools & Fayette County to visit 10 manufacturing companies in the region

Memphis, Tenn. -- The Greater Memphis Chamber and partners are celebrating National Manufacturing Day this Friday, October 2nd, with the goal to promote advanced manufacturing careers in the region 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), Shelby County Schools, Fayette County and Durham School Services. 400 students from eight Shelby County Schools will tour eight Memphis manufacturing companies and 100 Fayette Academy students will tour three manufacturing facilities in Fayette County.

“National Manufacturing Day is a way for manufacturers in our region to convey their passion for what they do, and explain how young people can embrace the profession and prepare for good-paying jobs with post-secondary training that often lasts just a year or two and doesn’t leave them with decades of college loan debt,” said Phil Trenary, President & CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber.
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.
“Coca-Cola Refreshments is excited and honored to be participating in the National Manufacturing Day.  Our hope is that students will see the vast opportunities that exist within manufacturing and how rewarding it is to work with such an iconic brand as Coca-Cola,” said Dave Gramm, Plant Manager, Coca-Cola Refreshments.
The schools participating this year include: Booker T. Washington High School, Douglass High School, East High School, Melrose High School, Whitehaven High School, Sheffield Career & Technical Center, Southwest Career & Technical Center and Trezevant High School. On these tours, students receive information on possible careers within the industry and the paths to get there.  Each high school will tour a different manufacturing company which includes: Coca-Cola, Competition Cams, Inc., Flextronics International, Gibson’s Memphis Guitar Factory, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc., Smith & Nephew, Inc., Steel Warehouse Company and Medtronic, Inc.
Not only has the number of students and companies expanded this year, but the program has expanded to Fayette County as well where 100 students will from Fayette Academy will tour three facilities in Fayette County.
“Students and companies don’t usually get to interact until the company needs to hire someone.  This program gives an opportunity to meet and get to know what is out there for both the future employees and employers.  Our business climate as a whole is strengthened when we involve everyone in finding what our needs are,” said Rhea “Skip” Taylor, Fayette County Mayor.
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.