The constant churn of equipment; a production line of employees and robotic arms; shipping containers receiving inventory.

Manufacturing has long been a backbone of our country’s economy. And it’s been making a slow and steady comeback in the last few years. To help students become acquainted with manufacturing in their local area, the Manufacturing Resource Center hosted a statewide video competition for middle school students in Pennsylvania. Student and faculty teams interviewed staff and captured footage on manufacturing sites, creating a video summary with a highlighted theme. Entries competed in 12 regions throughout the Commonwealth, and then the winners from each region competed for the top three prizes.

RETTEW sponsored the state awards event in Harrisburg, PA, as well as several of the regional competitions.

“The ‘What’s So Cool About Manufacturing’ program aims to connect manufacturers to the next generation of their workforce, while providing students with a creative and educational means to get excited about possible future careers in manufacturing,” Gov. Tom Wolf said at the event.

The first place winner was Bethlehem Northeast Middle School in Northampton County, documenting Atlas Machining & Welding, Inc.

Second place was Wilson West Middle School in Berks County, with a video about Novipax.

Third place, which was presented by Laura Templeton, Industrial Market Leader at RETTEW, was Lionville Middle School in Chester County, displaying a video about ONExia, Inc.

Many industrial manufacturing companies are investing in infrastructure to support their futures – from renewable energy to water and wastewater treatment systems, and from underground utility mapping to updated safety procedures and ISO audits. RETTEW works closely with local, regional, and national manufacturers to achieve their goals. We were excited to participate in a forum supporting manufacturing for the next generation!