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“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Sponsors Continue Support for 7th Annual Contest

by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC)

“What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Sponsors Continue Support for 7th Annual Contest

Celebrating seven years in Berks and Schuylkill Counties, the 2023 “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” Student Video Contest welcomes 27 manufacturers and middle school teams. Since its inception, this local contest format, created by Manufacturers Resource Center, has been replicated by sixteen regional contests, and adopted by stakeholders in 11 additional states. Top state officials like outgoing Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf have recognized the program, and dozens of sponsors continue to support “What’s So Cool,” making it possible year after year.

The program’s goal is to increase student, parent, and educator awareness of STEM and manufacturing career paths by showcasing “What’s So Cool” about today’s technology, career opportunities, and working right here in Pennsylvania through two-minute videos produced by student teams. All videos will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website and will be open to the public for voting on March 8-10, 2023 for the Viewers Choice Award. The Berks Schuylkill Awards Event is scheduled for March 21, 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading.

The program’s continued success and growth are attributed to the efforts the teachers and students have put forth in the community since its inception. MRC and its partners Kutztown Small Business Development Center, eMediaWorks, Sahl Communications, Inc., and many community sponsors remain committed to the sustainability of the program.

Educational media resources, GoPro Camera kits, professional media training, materials, and project costs were funded and made possible by the following:

Technology Sponsor: Berks County Workforce Development Board  

Platinum Sponsors: Berks County Industrial Development Authority, Customers Bank, Manufacturers Resource Center, Kutztown Small Business Development Center, Reading Truck, Univest Financial, and Viwinco, Inc.

Gold Sponsors: American Crane & Equipment Corporation, Carpenter Technology Corporation, County of Berks, eMediaWorks, Hydro, M&T Bank, Members 1st FCU, Michael Foods, PhytogenX, Reading Bearing & Drive Solutions, Sahl Communications, Inc., Tompkins Community Bank, Unique Snacks, and Weidenhammer  

Silver Sponsors: Aerotek, Arkema, Ashland Technologies, Inc., Blaschak Anthracite, Cambridge-Lee Industries LLC, Cardinal Systems, Inc., East Penn Manufacturing Company, Fromm Electric, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Masser Family of Companies, Materion, Reading Area Community College, R. M. Palmer Company, and Sweet Street Desserts, Inc.

Bronze Sponsors: Berks Career & Technology Center, Berks County Intermediate Unit, F.M. Brown’s Sons, Inc., King’s Real Estate Development Co., Pladis, Reading Muhlenberg Career & Technology Center, Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, Schuylkill County Intermediate Unit, Schuylkill Technology Center, and US Anodize

Media Sponsors: BCTV, Lamar, Lehigh Valley Business Journal, Reading Eagle, and WFMZ 69 News

Visit for more information and follow on social media @WSCMBerksSchuyl.

Developed by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the WSCM program is a video-based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths and technology in manufacturing through “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 MRC community career awareness program has expanded across the Commonwealth and the country.

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®” comprehensive manufacturing video library was created by MRC and WSCM PA in 2020 and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED). The interactive library of the who’s who in Pennsylvania manufacturing, garnered from the yearly regional contests, is intended to serve as an educational resource for anyone curious about manufacturing in Pennsylvania. The library can be accessed through the website and contains 1000 student videos featuring over 500 Pennsylvania manufacturers.

This contest allows students 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 for “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED).

For 33 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 and the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunities in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. Learn more at