Marking its fifth year as a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) and Manufacturing Institute’s (MI) Dream It. Do It. program, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. will again connect with more than 10,000 students – primarily eighth graders – for Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) events this year. National MFG Day 2019 is officially Oct. 4, yet Cooper’s involvement begins later this month and will run throughout October. The company will focus on communities where it has major facilities: Findlay, Ohio; Texarkana, Arkansas; and Tupelo, Mississippi. In addition to participating in two community-wide local efforts, Cooper will host its own “Manufacturing Experience,” which includes highly interactive activities planned by the company’s “Dream Team,” a group of approximately 40 early-career employees from across the company who volunteer to showcase the advantages of careers in manufacturing throughout the year.
“As one of just two global tire companies headquartered in the United States, and with a legacy in manufacturing that spans 105 years, Cooper is focused on addressing our nation’s shortage of manufacturing workers. A recent Deloitte/MI study revealed that an estimated 2.4 million positions in manufacturing will be left unfilled between 2018 and 2028. There is a wide gap between jobs that need to be filled and a talent pool of those who are capable and want to fill them,” said John Bollman, Cooper’s chief human resources officer. “That is why our company is so invested in efforts like MFG Day that seek to reverse negative perceptions of manufacturing among students at an early age. We must show them, at a point in their lives when their career aspirations are just being formed, how rewarding jobs in manufacturing can be. It’s one important way that we’ll help to inspire the workforce of the next generation and strengthen the future workforce pipeline.”
Cooper MFG Day Events
Findlay, Ohio, Sept. 30 and Oct. 2-4
In Findlay, where Cooper has its global headquarters as well as two technical centers, a tire production plant/distribution facility, and mold operations, the company will participate in a community-wide effort coordinated by Raise the Bar, a local workforce development program, in cooperation with Millstream Career Center and Owens Community College. This event will bring approximately 1,000 eighth grade students from 11 schools together to experience manufacturing at five different companies—Cooper, Rowmark LLC, GSW Manufacturing, Inc., Whirlpool Corp., and Valfilm LLC—all with locations in the Tall Timbers Industrial Park. Cooper will engage the students as if it is their first day on the job, giving them an orientation into the tire making process and then focusing on the early stages of tire design and how molds are created that are then used at Cooper production facilities around the world to produce tires. Students will see first-hand how tires are designed using CAD tools and how tire molds are CAM-programmed, engraved and assembled. They will also take part in a quality inspection task and other engaging activities.
Texarkana, Arkansas, Oct. 29-31
In Texarkana, where Cooper has a tire manufacturing/distribution facility, approximately 2,000 students from 14 middle and junior high schools will come to the Texarkana Convention Center Oct. 29-31 for the Cooper Manufacturing Experience. They will visit over one dozen interactive stations that cover all aspects of the design, production, marketing and sale of tires from raw materials through mixing, curing, finishing, warehousing and shipping. In addition, students will learn about information technology, accounting, human resources and other career options aligned to manufacturing. Alumni from the local schools who work at Cooper will give a special address and students will also take part in a Tread Wisely tire safety demonstration led by Cooper Dream Team members and others.
Tupelo, Mississippi, Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 17 and 18
In Tupelo, where Cooper has a tire production/distribution facility, the company will participate in the local Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo Oct. 1-3 at the BancorpSouth Arena. More than 7,000 eighth grade students will attend the Expo, which is an annual local event that will feature dozens of companies, giving students a glimpse into many different career options, including manufacturing jobs at Cooper. Cooper will review the tire making process along with several other functions to give students an understanding of the dozens of roles involved in the design, production, distribution and marketing of Cooper tires. In addition, the Cooper Dream Team will host the Cooper Manufacturing Experience on site at Tupelo High School on Oct. 17 and 18, where some 400 students will experience many of the same exciting and 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 #CooperCareers and #MFGDay19, which will expand awareness of manufacturing to family and friends across the U.S.