FINDLAY, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Marking its third year as a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) and Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) Dream It. Do It. program, Cooper Tire will connect with more than 10,000 students—primarily eighth graders—for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) events throughout October. Cooper will focus on the communities where the company has major facilities—Findlay, Ohio; Texarkana, Ark. and Tupelo, Miss. In addition to participating in community-wide efforts, the company will host its own Cooper Manufacturing Experience events. These highly interactive, hands-on events have been planned by the company’s Dream Team, a group of 40 employees from across Cooper who work with students and others all year long in efforts to educate and improve the image of careers in manufacturing to help strengthen the future workforce pipeline.
“Manufacturing is technology driven, fast paced and offers exciting career opportunities, but it can be challenging to attract employees. Many students today are not focused on careers in manufacturing and, unfortunately, great jobs go unfilled,” said John Bollman, Cooper’s Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer. “Cooper is working to attract students to manufacturing careers by giving young people hands-on experience that mimics what it’s like to work in the tire industry. Over the past several years we have reached nearly 30,000 students through these events, and we hope as they think about a career path in the future they will consider jobs in manufacturing and some of the great opportunities available at Cooper.”
According to a nationwide survey commissioned by NAM in 2016, 89 percent of students participating in MFG Day events felt more aware of manufacturing jobs in their communities, and 64 percent reported being more motivated to pursue a career in manufacturing. This is increasingly important as 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’ challenge to find talent with the required skills.
Abbey Kindler, Senior Engineering Technician for Cooper Tire’s Global Technical Center, said, “I joined Cooper’s Dream Team because I have found an amazing career in manufacturing, and I want to show young people there is so much more to the industry than meets the eye. Through this experience I am able to share my career path, answer questions, and debunk myths about working in the industry. It is important that students, as well as their parents and teachers, are shown the wide array of possibilities offered through manufacturing. It can truly be the ticket to a rewarding career.”
While MFG Day is officially Oct. 6 this year, the Cooper Manufacturing Experience will be offered to students throughout the month of October.
Findlay, Ohio, Oct. 3-6
- In Findlay, where Cooper’s global headquarters, technical facilities and a tire manufacturing/distribution facility are located, approximately 1,000 students from 11 schools will visit Oct. 3 to 6 to experience eight different interactive stations ranging from raw materials and tire design—including 3D modeling—to tire assembly, mold design and curing, as well as tire finishing and testing. Safety will be emphasized and human resources and marketing, as well as several other functions, to give students an understanding of the dozens of roles involved in the design, production, distribution, and sales and marketing of Cooper tires. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in an interactive session with United Steelworkers Local 207L, and Findlay-based companies Ohio Logistics, Findlay Machine and Tool Inc. and GSW Manufacturing Inc. will provide additional manufacturing demonstrations and hands-on activities. In conjunction, locally-headquartered manufacturer Rowmark, LLC will provide students with facility and plant tours at their Findlay location.
Texarkana, Ark., Oct. 11-13
- In Texarkana, Ark., where Cooper has a tire manufacturing/distribution facility, approximately 2,000 students from six middle and junior high schools will come to the Texarkana Convention Center Oct. 11 to 13 to experience the same interactive stations that will be featured as part of the Findlay event with an expanded number of additional stations including engineering, IT, lab, and warehousing/distribution.
Tupelo, Miss., Oct. 3-5 and Oct. 19-20
- In Tupelo, Miss., where Cooper has a tire production/distribution facility, the company will participate in the local Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo Oct. 3 to 5 at the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center. Approximately 7,000 eighth grade students will attend the Expo, which is an annual local event that will feature dozens of area businesses giving students a glimpse into many different career options, including manufacturing and Cooper. In addition, the Cooper Dream Team will host the Cooper Manufacturing Experience on site at Tupelo High School on Oct. 19 and 20, when some 1,200 students will experience many of the same interactive stations that Findlay and Texarkana will offer.
Students who attend the Cooper Manufacturing Experience in all three communities will be encouraged to share their experiences through social media using #CooperCareers and #MFGDay17, which will expand awareness of manufacturing to family and friends across the U.S.
About Dream It. Do It.
Today’s manufacturing is about advanced technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and fast-paced work environments. But most of all, manufacturing is about people who like to see the product of a hard day’s work. However, this is not the impression of manufacturing that is held by many Americans today. Only 35 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing despite the advanced skills and high pay that are characteristic of work in today’s advanced manufacturing industry. This is due to a perception of manufacturing that existed a generation ago, but does not represent the current reality.
To put an end to this misperception, the Manufacturing Institute (MI) launched Dream It. Do It. in 2005. The program works to inspire next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. Members of the Dream It. Do It. network gain access to national support and resources to aid their pro-manufacturing efforts and join a network of industry leaders that implement activities to meet local, regional and statewide workforce needs.
The initiative offers local manufacturers, schools, community-based organizations and other stakeholders the opportunity to partner with a respected, national platform to promote manufacturing as a top tier career choice in the United States. Dream It. Do It. promotes manufacturing to three distinct audiences: students, parents and educators. In 2016, the network successfully engaged nearly 385,000 students, 69,000 parents, 19,500 educators and 5,000 employers.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.