Tag Archives: STEM

National Manufacturing Day Serves as an Opportunity to Dive Deeper into 2018s Modern Manufacturing World

Inspiring a New Generation of Manufacturers


National Manufacturing Day® was created as a movement of the modern manufacturing industry, meant to motivate the next generation of new manufacturers. Taking place on the first Friday of every October, manufacturers around the country will open their doors to inspire students and encourage their perusal of manufacturing careers.

In order to generate a much larger career interest, industry authorities work annually to change the public’s perception of the industry. Each year, participants continue to correct the “old factory” image.

With the change in industry dynamic comes a new manufacturing image: modern manufacturing. In reality, today’s manufacturing jobs are exciting, harnessing the latest in technological innovation, and require highly skilled workers familiar with using such state-of-the-art technologies. 2018 manufacturing facilities are contemporary, stimulating, and inventive work environments. With current technology, trade workers might be placed in an office or lab, beyond the factory floor. Today, automation plays a huge role in the industry and we need the right players to assist with the functions and continual development of manufacturing throughout the U.S.

Embracing Technology and Innovation

Over the past few decades, American manufacturing has embraced technology and other revolutionary concepts.

National Manufacturing Day undertakings include the promotion of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and math – to bridge the skills gap and reshore jobs back to the U.S. Scholarships are available.

UPR and other manufacturing businesses continue the efforts of pushing this movement forward throughout each year.

Beneficial for the Economy and Local Business

Universal Polymer & Rubber supports the significant strides that National Manufacturing Day participants have created to grow the U.S. manufacturing industry.

Reshoring is currently generating new job totals as many major producers choose to keep manufacturing facilities in the United States.  Local businesses and the overall economy are benefiting as a result.

UP&R’s American-Made Tarp Straps

As an Ohio-based company, UPR proudly offers the AMERIPRIDE line of tarp straps that are U.S. made. The AMERIPRIDE tarp strap is available at an affordable price for use in the trucking, transportation, recreational vehicle, and marine industries. These UV-resistant straps are secured with S hooks that are manufactured from in-house wire coils.

Keep in Touch

By recognizing National Manufacturing Day, UPR supports the proud contributions of everyone in the manufacturing industry.

To learn more about how we support American manufacturing, follow us on our blogTwitter, and LinkedIn. For more information on our products and services, contact us today.


That manufacturing is perhaps the most important sector of the US where regulating the economy and bringing in healthy profits is concerned is not a myth or a secret. Whenever manufacturing has taken a hit, so have the power and the stability of the nation.

Post the recession years of 2008-2009, manufacturing has seen a resurgence of sorts. New jobs are opening up, reshoring is fast becoming a trend and many major producers are choosing the United States as the manufacturing stronghold for its savvy and empowered millennial population of buyers.

There is however another aspect of this revival that is less focused upon but equally important for the sustainability of the manufacturing boom. It is the existing and rapidly widening skill gap crippling the sector.


According to the data supplied by the Manufacturing Institute and the Deloitte Skill Gap Study, 84% of executives agree that there is a very real talent shortage in the manufacturing sector which is going to become more pronounced as the experienced Baby Boomers gradually retire leaving vacant positions that can’t be filled by the Gen Xers alone.

Millennials are interested in STEM careers but their enthusiasm is restricted to the cubicle and desk jobs of computer engineers and software programmers.

It currently takes more than 70 days to recruit the replacement of a skilled production worker and 94 days to hire an on-field researcher or scientist. Despite higher pays and best efforts, 6 out of 10 positions in the manufacturing realm remain vacant. This severely affects the ability of the manufacturing sector to support itself and the projected growth over the next decade. US may lag behind simply because it doesn’t have the manpower necessary to make the most of the opportunities coming its way on the back of the infrastructural improvements that have been initiated.


For manufacturers and producers large and small this may mean making do with employees who are not equipped to handle a role of importance. This can definitely impact the bottom-line performance and in time inculcate mediocrity in products, research and development and client service. The need of the moment is a crusade to banish the misconceptions and misperceptions that plague manufacturing.


mfgdayIt has been found that students who are familiar with the challenges, exciting advancements and lucrative salaries of manufacturing positions are twice as likely to consider it as a career. Through open house events, seminars, conducted factory and plant tours and accurate estimations of the growth in compensation and expansion potential of manufacturing, the younger generation can be conditioned into accepting this sector as ‘rewarding’ and ‘worth a try’.

If you participate wholeheartedly and rope in educators, community influencers and decision makers, you might be successful in showing what the manufacturing of 2015 is and what it isn’t. This lucid communication breaks down preconceived notions and at least shows prospective employees the benefits for what they are.

Universal Polymer is an avid supporter of Manufacturing Day and will celebrate 2nd October with a number of events registered on http://www.mfgday.com/user/register.

Industrial Athletes—Competing Against Yourself to Achieve Success

Manufacturers have a lot to do these days. Many have entered new markets as tried-and-true industries have slowed down. Many more are involved in instituting lean manufacturing principles to keep prices competitive while still making a profit. All of this requires skilled personnel, and one of the challenges facing manufacturers across all industries is the shortage of new, skilled workers. That adds another item to the to-do list: getting the next generation interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing.

Part of this effort involves dispelling old notions that the factory is grimy, mindless work. As manufacturing plants have evolved over the past twenty years, machines have gotten more high-tech, and workers more multifaceted. Multitasking has become the norm and as everyone wears more and more hats, there’s a constant element of learning and challenge to every job in the plant.

That challenge is something that many middle school and high school students don’t realize is there. We have to communicate that manufacturing provides a stable, lucrative career with lots of growth potential—but we have to go beyond that message. After all, think back to your own high school days and how much those words—“stability,” “growth potential”—meant to you. We need to speak to students on their level, keeping in mind their priorities and interests. And they love a challenge, they love to compete. From video games, to sports, to working hard to make honor roll every semester, students are constantly working to be better than they were the day before and to reach new heights. If they feel that manufacturing is a dead end job, no wonder they aren’t pursuing it as a career path.

But today manufacturing workers are more like industrial athletes than cogs in an assembly line. Every day they use their brains and their bodies to find better ways of doing things. They work to limit defects and produce more. There’s a sense of learning and refining every single day. And that extends to management roles as well. How many projects did you quote last week? How many were successful? What was the total dollar amount? How can we do better this week? You set up a plan, benchmark it against expected results and take corrective action. No matter what your position in the manufacturing plant, every day is like a game.

And for the first time, everyone is truly playing on the same team. The suggestion boxes of yesterday have been replaced by the group meetings of today. When manufacturers institute lean principles they turn to their workers to figure out the best ways to improve. Today, everyone in the plant has a voice, a voice that’s heard and respected.

We need to let students know that the behaviors and attitudes that have already taken them so far will bring them continued fulfillment and success in the world of manufacturing. They’ll quickly discover the more “practical” benefits of manufacturing for themselves. For now, we simply have to get them on our team.