Happy Manufacturing Day!

October 05, 2018 - 10:15am

In preparation for this year’s celebration of Manufacturing Day on Oct. 5, I read the book Finding America’s Greatest Champion: Building Prosperity Through Manufacturing, Mentoring and the Awesome Responsibility of Parenting by Terry M. Iverson, president of machine tool distributor and rebuilder Iverson & Co., Des Plaines, Illinois. The word “champion” in the title connects with the organization Iverson started called CHAMPION Now! CHAMPION is an acronym for Change How American (or Advanced) Manufacturing’s Perceived In Our Nation.

I decided to read the 300-page book after I saw an open box of signed copies in one of our offices and received permission to take one.

The recurring theme of the book is that not enough young people are exposed to the financial and mentally stimulating rewards that a manufacturing career can provide, and they can tap into these returns without having to invest the significant amount of time (4 years or more) and money required to obtain a degree from an institution of higher learning.

High school seniors taking a CNC machining technician course at Clackamas Community College tour the 36,000-sq.-ft. facility of American Machine & Gear Inc., Portland, Oregon, in connection with MFG Day 2018. Photo by Conrad Hunter

“Manufacturing 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,” Iverson wrote. For MFG Day 2018, more than 2,600 manufacturers are opening their doors to host tours, presentations and other events across the U.S., including Puerto Rico, as well as a few in Canada. These events are a positive approach to promoting the industry and attracting the next generation of manufacturers. Using sports as an analogy, it’s difficult to imagine, for example, anyone wanting to play baseball without ever having watched a baseball game.

Iverson wrote that the roots of Manufacturing Day date to May 2012 when his company hosted a meeting with multiple organizations to form an alliance to change perceptions of manufacturing careers in the U.S. During the meeting, he suggested selecting a day to promote manufacturing. Pat Lee from the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association said FMA was already working on that effort, and shortly thereafter Manufacturing Day was born.

The book includes “conversations” with numerous highly motivated and talented people inside and outside the manufacturing industry, and some mention Manufacturing Day. For example, Marilyn Barger, executive director of Florida Advanced Technology Education Center (FLATE), stated that students, teachers, manufacturers and other stakeholders often say that the Manufacturing Day tours are “awesome.” It’s important for students to get exposure to the workplace because it’s hard for them to imagine what people do every day at work. “We hope they will see something that they like in the exciting and fast-paced manufacturing world.”

I feel confident many, if not most, will.

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • sawing machine ( saw)

    sawing machine ( saw)

    Machine designed to use a serrated-tooth blade to cut metal or other material. Comes in a wide variety of styles but takes one of four basic forms: hacksaw (a simple, rugged machine that uses a reciprocating motion to part metal or other material); cold or circular saw (powers a circular blade that cuts structural materials); bandsaw (runs an endless band; the two basic types are cutoff and contour band machines, which cut intricate contours and shapes); and abrasive cutoff saw (similar in appearance to the cold saw, but uses an abrasive disc that rotates at high speeds rather than a blade with serrated teeth).

  • tap


    Cylindrical tool that cuts internal threads and has flutes to remove chips and carry tapping fluid to the point of cut. Normally used on a drill press or tapping machine but also may be operated manually. See tapping.



Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Including his 20 years at CTE, Alan has more than 30 years of trade journalism experience.


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