Begin making your MFG DAY plans today

April 14, 2017 | Reviving Main Street: How rural Iowa stays relevant Alexandra Monaghan, Program Coordinator, Elevate Advanced Manufacturing,

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is a statewide initiative that is elevating the perception of advanced manufacturing by informing Iowa students and parents about advanced manufacturing careers. Throughout the year, Elevate Advanced Manufacturing hosts events and activities to help fill the skill gap in manufacturing. The first Friday in October is extra special because it is Manufacturing Day (better known as MFG Day). MFG Day is a day to celebrate manufacturing and to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Elevate partners with the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University, which leads Iowa’s MFG Day efforts, to plan events across the state’s 99 counties. Iowa manufacturers are excited to educate the public on what is behind their doors, and the organizations recognize the hardworking individuals who make the work run smoothly.

“Manufacturing Day is a great opportunity to highlight the contributions of manufacturing to our local, state and national economy,” said Lori Sheafer-Weaton, president of Agri-Industrial Plastics Co.

“We love having students of all ages into our facility to share what we do and dis- cuss all the great careers that exist in advanced manufacturing today,” Sheafer- Weaton said.

Other MFG Day partners include the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa Workforce Development, ISU Extension & Outreach, Project Lead the Way and the Iowa Area Development Group.

This year, MFG partners are encouraging all companies, schools and organizations in Iowa’s 99 counties to participate in Manufacturing Day by scheduling an event on Oct. 6 or throughout the month of October.

If you are interested in participating in MFG Day or have questions about hosting an event, please contact Alexandra Monaghan of Elevate Advanced Manufacturing at or Glenn Volkman of CIRAS at


In 2016, Iowa planned 149 events across all 99 counties. These events reached a total of 8,000 Iowans. They were a huge success and CIRAS even received a letter of appreciation and recognition from U.S. secretary of commerce. These were among the events:

• Manufacturers invited students and educators to their facility for a tour and presentations by the company.

• Iowa colleges educated students on STEM careers and the manufacturing industry.

• Manufacturers informed parents about their industry. • Companies held luncheon and roundtable discussions.