Elevate: 2013-present and still going strong

June 9, 2021 | Iowa Businesses Show Resilience During Pandemic Michele Farrell, Program Manager, Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, mfarrell@measuredintentions.com

Eight years ago, a group of Iowa business leaders sat at the ABI Board Room table and realized there was a misconception about the manufacturing industry. They discussed the obstacles in creating interest among high school students to explore occupations in advanced manufacturing. The younger generation wasn’t aware of the career opportunities, and their parents believed that manufacturing was “a job for other kids–not for my son or daughter.” This realization was the important first step towards creating the Elevate Iowa platform to educate Iowans, specifically high school students and their families, about the exceptional opportunities, compensation, and benefits in advanced manufacturing.

Since its inception in 2013, Elevate continues to promote and strengthen Iowa’s advanced manufacturing industry. Elevate has evolved from the early days of traveling and speaking to anyone that would listen, to utilizing technology and social media to reach new audiences today! Elevate is supported by all 15 Iowa Community Colleges, the ABI Foundation, Governor Kim Reynolds, and many other State agencies. Elevate is also a national partner of The Manufacturing Institute's Dream It Do It initiative, working to change the perception of the industry and inspire the next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. Because of this support, Elevate is able to make a meaningful impact to Iowans across the state in a cost-effective way.

In the last 12 months, Elevate has reached hundreds of thousands of Iowans with social media efforts alone! Over 160,000 Iowans tuned in to watch the launch of Elevate’s Not A Dirty Job video campaign, spotlighting local manufacturers and building a more positive perception of the manufacturing industry. Elevate is focused on increasing its online presence to help students get connected with educational pathways and career opportunities that are available in advanced manufacturing. Iowa manufacturing companies offer many benefits like on-the-job training, scholarship opportunities, and continuing education. In the new age of high-tech manufacturing, students don’t need a four-year degree to be successful. Many of these companies are featured in the Made in Iowa section at elevateiowa.com.

In addition to Elevate’s online efforts, there are scholarship opportunities available to students. Every year, Elevate donates $500 scholarships to 15 recent Iowa high school graduates entering a manufacturing-related course of study at one of Iowa’s 15 community colleges. With innovative advances in technology, robotics, and augmented and virtual reality, the manufacturing industry continues to grow, providing new and exciting career opportunities for Iowans. Advanced manufacturing provides a wide range of in-demand jobs–and a career in manufacturing empowers individuals to join the workforce sooner, with less debt!

Keep checking our Facebook page for new releases of “Not a Dirty Job."