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MRC Announces “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Contest Year Four

by Manufacturers Resource Center

Nov 14, 2019
What's So Cool About Manufacturing?

MRC Announces “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Berks Schuylkill Contest Student-Manufacturer Teams for Year Four Berks and Schuylkill Counties Combine to Again Field 36 Teams for Student Video Contest

Berks County, PA – The Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce Berks and Schuylkill counties will combine again this year for the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” student video contest, now entering the region’s fourth year and boasting 36 student-manufacturer teams who will compete this school year.

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” student video contest provides 7th and 8th graders a unique opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers as they use their curiosity and creativity to develop, shoot, edit and produce a “cool” video to document their experiences.  The program, spearheaded by Manufacturers Resource Center and new MRC President & CEO Rich Hobbs, was created to generate excitement that draws students to consider manufacturing career paths.  Student-teams will partner with manufacturers in 17 regions across Pennsylvania this year, where their videos will compete, first in regional contests and then in the 3rd Annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” PA Statewide Awards on April 29, 2020 in Harrisburg.

“It’s really exciting to see this level of participation, from the students, teachers, manufacturers and our partners in this contest,” said Terri Lampe Melcher, Berks County Business Development Manager at MRC.  “When there is this much buy in across the board, you know everyone involved is getting a lot out of the program.  The manufacturers give the students an unprecedented view into how cool modern manufacturing is, and together they share it with the community.  Everyone benefits.”

Thirty-six middle school teams representing 100% of the middle schools from the 18 Berks County and 12 Schuylkill County school districts, will be paired with 36 local manufacturers to compete in the regional contest.  Their video submissions, which will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website WhatsSoCool.org, will be open to the public for voting in late February for the Viewers Choice Award.  The program’s continued success and growth can be attributed to the efforts MRC, its partners, the teachers and students have put forth in the community since its inception, and the many community sponsors committed to its sustainability.

Funding for this year’s Berks Schuylkill WSCM Contest is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Business-Education Partnership (BEP) Grant, community sponsors and manufacturing companies. In addition to MRC, Berks Business-Education Coalition, eMediaWorks, and Sahl Communications, this year’s Berks and Schuylkill County partners include Berks Career & Technology Center, Berks County Intermediate Unit, Berks County Workforce Development Board, Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center, Schuylkill Technology Center and Schuylkill County Intermediate Unit.

Visit www.WhatsSoCool.org for more information and resources.

About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing”: Developed by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), WSCM program is a video based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths in manufacturing. MRC developed this innovative career awareness program that at its core is “peer marketing” (kids telling kids what’s so cool about manufacturing jobs).  The contest is showcased on the What’s So Cool Website, and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms. The WSCM Program is expanding across the Commonwealth and the country.  Inside Pennsylvania there will be 17 regions conducting contests this year.

This contest gives students the opportunity to connect with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way.  The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths, and CTE and STEM education.

Original funding was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

About Manufacturers Resource Center: For nearly 30 years, the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more competitive, adopt lean and agile processes, strategically grow their companies and invest more effectively in their existing human capital.  MRC is a nonprofit organization partially funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST-MEP program, as well as the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunity in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.

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