Manufacturing: Not Dirty Jobs

May 8, 2020 | Hometown health Michele Farrell, Program Manager, Elevate Advanced Manufacturing,

When people think of advanced manufacturing, they think of dirty environments. They think it is unsafe and has limited potential, but that simply isn’t true. “All you have to do is walk into one of these great Iowa manufacturers to see the technology and opportunities,” says Mike Ralston, president of ABI. “Not to mention, products made in Iowa have global reach—now more than ever!”

Over the past couple months, the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing team, along with ATW Training Solutions and in partnership with all 15 Iowa community colleges, have been working on short video episodes to highlight this exact message—these are not dirty jobs! Video has been chosen because it has proven to be the best way to reach our target audience of 15- to 18-year-olds. These episodes will be featured on Elevate social media and will be available for employers to use as a resource.

Currently production has been halted due to current COVID-19 safety measures, but we still plan to release these this summer! In the meantime, keep your eyes on our social media accounts for episode teasers (and Elevate scholarship winners)!

We also recommend employers reach out to their local work-based learning intermediary or the new Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning to explore options for work-based learning in a project-based or virtual environment. During this challenging time, most face-to-face interactions with students have been cancelled or postponed.

Other resources employers should keep in mind are the career pathways and work-based learning toolkit projects Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, ABI and the Department of Education collaborated on for you to use as a reference. Visit the Elevate Iowa website to find these tools or reach out to Michele Farrell at