Though recent industrial data have left little room for celebration among U.S. manufacturers, scores of production plants across the country are switching up their daily routines Friday, opening factory doors to students, parents and politicians in recognition of National Manufacturing Day.
Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp., for example, plans to host tours, presentations and panel discussions at each of its nine facilities across the country. The annual celebration is an opportunity to put a positive face on the often undervalued economic contributions of American manufacturing, says Jim Keppler, vice president of integrated supply chain and quality at Whirlpool.
“We’re excited about Manufacturing Day. It gives us a chance to really thank those 15,000 men and women who build great appliances for us every day. But it also gives us the opportunity to really open up our facilities,” he says. “There’s still this lingering perception that manufacturing plants are these dirty, dark, dangerous places where there’s mundane, boring jobs going on. In fact, we have some highly technical, fun, engaging jobs across our manufacturing footprint.”