With National Manufacturing Month in full swing, industrial companies and associations are working hard to engage the next generation of workers. Lately, there have been countless headlines about the industrial skills-gap as baby boomers edge closer to retirement. To combat the issue, many manufacturers have opened their doors to student groups this month. In addition, many groups have hosted gatherings to discuss other ways of getting young people excited about manufacturing and contractor jobs.

Recently, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) of Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana hosted an Education and Dinner Meeting. The event brought together local contractors and company representatives, including from R.L. Craig Company, and officials from the county school system to network and brainstorm ideas to make sure all kids are aware of skilled job options.

Many high school students and graduates are already semi-prepared to enter the workforce without even realizing it. Thanks to a greater emphasis on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), many students are being exposed to more technical concepts and gaining necessary skills for advanced trade careers. Having access to challenging courses is vitally important to preparing the future workforce for these jobs. But getting them excited about the coursework and industry is the next step. Thankfully, educational leaders and industrialists alike are working hard to achieve this.

Taking part in National Manufacturing Month is one great way to open the door to this field. Continuing to support STEM education through open houses and other events, as well as by encouraging apprenticeships all help in gaining attention for these technical positions.

What other ways have you been able to create interest in STEM careers? Let us know in the comments.