Flagship event in Gonzales, Louisiana, touts diverse manufacturing careers and training programs available to students
Gonzales, La. – On Friday, Oct. 6th, the Manufacturing Institute—the 501(c)3 nonprofit workforce development and education affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers hosted the 2023 national MFG Day kickoff celebration at River Parishes Community College – Gonzales Campus. The event and national MFG Day is made possible by BASF’s support of $150,000 and shared partnership to promote careers in manufacturing.
“MFG Day is an opportunity to connect students with some of our country’s great manufacturers to change the narrative around manufacturing,” said MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “We are excited to work with BASF and RPCC to bring the national MFG Day kickoff celebration to students across Ascension Parish. There is a place for everyone in manufacturing, and today’s kickoff event underscores the opportunities for America’s future workforce available right here in Louisiana.”
“This is an exciting day for students in Ascension Parish and across the State of Louisiana,” said Louisiana State Rep. Ken Brass. “When you have national organizations such as the Manufacturing Institute partnering with companies like BASF to deliver hands-on learning experiences for our local school children, we all benefit. Highlighting the endless possibilities for careers in manufacturing allow our children to envision successful future careers with limitless possibilities.”
“At BASF, we understand that showcasing manufacturing opportunities to middle-school children in meaningful ways can foster a lifelong passion around STEM careers,” said Jerry Lebold, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s largest manufacturing site in North America, located in Geismar, Louisiana. “We are pleased to partner with the Manufacturing Institute, RPCC and the Ascension Parish School System to give our local students a glimpse into what the future of manufacturing looks like and the potential role they play in that workforce. Our hope is that building an interest in STEM careers today, helps create sustainable solutions for the future.”
Leaders from BASF and the MI were joined by RPCC Chancellor Quintin Taylor and Ascension Public Schools Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves to address an audience of educators, business and community leaders, elected officials and media on the importance forging powerful community partnerships to further individual opportunity, community prosperity and a more competitive manufacturing industry.
Alongside the flagship address, 550 local eighth-graders explored diverse manufacturing careers and training programs available in their community firsthand at RPCC.
“We are excited to welcome the Manufacturing Institute, the National Association of Manufacturing, BASF, and other industry partners to RPCC, as we celebrate MFG Day,” said River Parishes Community College Chancellor Quintin D. Taylor. “This event is our collaborative effort to cultivate and invest in the future workforce of the manufacturing industry. There are thousands of good-paying career opportunities in the manufacturing sector right here in the River Region. As the preferred education and workforce solution for the River Parishes, we are committed to creating and building awareness and interest in these growing careers to our middle and high school students.”
“Ascension Public Schools is grateful to River Parishes Community College, BASF, the Manufacturing Institute, and all the participating businesses for providing this unique opportunity for our students. Being exposed to hands-on demonstrations of manufacturing activities in middle school may spark students to pursue the careers of their dreams in these worthy fields,” said Ascension Public Schools Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves.
Celebrated nationally on the first Friday in October, MFG Day is manufacturing’s biggest annual opportunity to inspire the next generation, positively shift perceptions about our industry and build the foundation for the manufacturing workforce of the future. BASF’s commitment to MFG Day brought the flagship 2023 national event to Gonzales, Louisiana.
There have been 6,432 manufacturing job openings year to date in Louisiana and 8,640 over the past 12 months. The unemployment rate is 3.3% in Louisiana. In August, there were 138,500 manufacturing employees in the state, up 3,100 over the past 12 months.