FINDLAY, Ohio, September 29, 2016 – Marking its second year as a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) and Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) Dream It. Do It. program, Cooper Tire will connect with more than 10,000 students—primarily eighth graders—for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) events throughout October. Cooper will focus on the communities where the company has major facilities—Findlay, Ohio; Texarkana, Ark.; and Tupelo, Miss. In addition to participating in community-wide efforts, the company will host its own Cooper Manufacturing Experience events. These highly interactive, hands-on events have been planned by the company’s Dream Team, a group of 40 employees from across Cooper who work with students and others all year long in efforts to educate and improve the image of careers in manufacturing to help strengthen the future workforce pipeline.
“If we want students to think about a career in manufacturing, we need to help them understand how exciting and technology-driven today’s manufacturing industry really is,” said Brenda Harmon, Cooper’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “There is an entire generation of young people who have been steered away from manufacturing or at least not encouraged to explore working in manufacturing. As a result, many good jobs, which may or may not require a college or technical degree, go unfilled at American manufacturers, including Cooper. We are working to change this dynamic starting with young people at the ages where they are forming their impressions of what they may want to do and where they may want to work.”
Elizabeth Taylor, a Chemical Engineer for Cooper in Tupelo, said, “I am excited to be a part of Cooper’s Dream Team because this effort gives us the opportunity to positively impact young people in our communities in many different ways including making them aware of careers in manufacturing. Manufacturing today is very dynamic and technical and it is important for kids, their parents and teachers to understand this. Our Dream Team brings people who actually work in manufacturing out to schools, universities and other venues where students can get to know us and hear about our personal experiences in manufacturing while also learning about manufacturing and careers in the field.”
While MFG Day is officially Oct. 7 this year, the Cooper Manufacturing Experience will be offered to students throughout the entire month.
Findlay, Ohio, Oct. 4-7
- In Findlay, where Cooper’s global headquarters, technical facilities and a tire manufacturing/distribution facility are located, approximately 950 students from 11 schools will visit Oct. 4 to 7 to experience eight different interactive stations ranging from raw materials and tire design—including 3D modeling—to tire assembly, mold design and curing, as well as tire finishing and testing. Safety will be emphasized and Human Resources and Marketing, as well as several other functions will also be presented to give students an understanding of the dozens of various roles involved in the design, production, distribution, and sales and marketing of Cooper tires.
Texarkana, Ark., Oct. 17-19
- In Texarkana, Ark., where Cooper has a tire manufacturing/distribution facility, approximately 1,500 students from six middle and junior high schools will come to the Texarkana Convention Center Oct. 17 to 19 to experience the same interactive stations that will be featured as part of the Findlay event with an expanded number of additional stations including engineering, IT, lab, and warehousing/distribution.
Tupelo, Miss., Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-12
- In Tupelo, Miss., where Cooper has a tire production/distribution facility, the company will participate in the local Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo Oct. 4 to 6 at the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center. Approximately 7,000 eighth grade students will attend the Expo, which is an annual local event that will feature dozens of area businesses giving students a glimpse into many different career options, including manufacturing and Cooper. In addition, the Cooper Dream Team will host the Cooper Manufacturing Experience on site at Tupelo High School on Oct. 11 and 12, when some 1,200 students will experience many of the same interactive stations that Findlay and Texarkana will offer.
Students who attend the Cooper Manufacturing Experience in all three communities will be encouraged to share their experiences through social media using #cooperiscool and #mfgday16, which will expand awareness of manufacturing to family and friends across the U.S.
About Dream It. Do It.
Today’s manufacturing is about advanced technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and fast-paced work environments. But most of all, manufacturing is about people who like to see the product of a hard day’s work. However, this is not the impression of manufacturing that is held by many Americans today. Only 35 percent of parents say they would encourage their children to pursue careers in manufacturing despite the advanced skills and high pay that are characteristic of work in today’s advanced manufacturing industry. This is due to a perception of manufacturing that existed a generation ago, but does not represent the current reality.
To put an end to this misperception, the Manufacturing Institute (MI) launched Dream It. Do It. in 2005. The program works to inspire next-generation workers to pursue manufacturing careers. Members of the Dream It. Do It. network gain access to national support and resources to aid their pro-manufacturing efforts and join a network of industry leaders that implement activities to meet local, regional and statewide workforce needs.
The initiative offers local manufacturers, schools, community-based organizations and other stakeholders the opportunity to partner with a respected, national platform to promote manufacturing as a top tier career choice in the United States. Dream It. Do It. promotes manufacturing to three distinct audiences: students, parents and educators. In 2015, the network successfully engaged 426,000 students, 76,000 influencers (parents and educators) and 8,600 manufacturers.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper and its subsidiaries also sell medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper’s headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.