Tuesday night it was Berks and Schuylkill County’s turn to shine the light on “What’s so Cool About Manufacturing?”
The contest asks middle school students to answer that question in videos they create in partnership with area manufacturers.
The program, developed by Dream it. Do it Pennsylvania, is in its fifth year. It started in Lehigh and Northampton Counties and expanded into Berks and Schuylkill last year.
All of the videos submitted by the teams are reviewed by a panel of judges, and the community votes online for a favorite.
This year, 29 schools participated in the Berks/Schuylkill event, according to Jack Pfunder, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Resource Center, one of the organizers of the event held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading.
Speaking to LVB about the program, Pfunder said he sees the annual contests as important for building awareness about the careers available in manufacturing.
“I think the key is more companies are trying to get more kids involved in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math],” Pfunder said. “It’s definitely good for their image. The single biggest problem in manufacturing is hiring talent.”
A total of 11 awards were given out Tuesday night.
Outstanding Overall Program – Schuylkill Haven Middle School and Fabcon Precast.
Outstanding Editing – Hamburg Area Middle School and Appeeling Fruit Inc.
Outstanding Creativity – Kutztown Area Middle School and Palram Americas.
Outstanding Cool – Daniel Boone Middle School and Brentwood Industries.
Outstanding Team Spirit – Reading Northeast Middle School and the Rose Corp.
Outstanding Educational Value – Wilson West Middle School and Novipax.
Outstanding Videography – (tie) Tulpehocken Junior/Senior High and Misco Products Corp., and Muhlenberg Middle School and Cambridge Lee Industries.
Outstanding Marketing – Tamaqua Area Middle School and Cardinal Systems Inc.
Outstanding Career Pathway – D.H.H. Lengel Middle School and Northeast Prestressed.
Viewers’ Choice – Mahanoy Area Junior Senior High School and Highwood USA.