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Students, Parents: Creators Wanted Works!

The Creators Wanted Mobile Experience is readying to tour communities across the country and come to homes nationwide via a first-of-its-kind online experience. But, before The Dallas Morning News-endorsed experience, which is designed to recruit new manufacturers and to inspire, educate and empower the next generation of creators, hits the road, the team put it to the test with students and parents.

Methodology: Finsbury Glover Hering (FGH), a leading global strategic communications and public affairs consultancy, came to Dallas, Texas, to observe and question three groups: students ages 15-17, students ages 18-22 and parents who have children ages 15-22. The groups were divided into three sections: an initial conversation about career ambitions and perceptions of manufacturing; a walk-through of the Creators Wanted Mobile Experience; and a discussion of the experience and post-walk through of impressions of manufacturing.

Before the experience: During questioning, manufacturing was not on the radar when audiences considered viable career options. Instead, popular fields like medicine and technology dominated the discussion. Parents and students were skeptical about manufacturing’s ability to instill pride, create fulfilling and rewarding paths and bolster opportunities to grow and advance.

After the experience: In rapid shifts, the Creators Wanted Mobile Experience turned opinions of manufacturing careers almost entirely around. FGH researchers found that, after going through the experience, people came to appreciate manufacturing as a sector that offers:

  • Diversity: Both in terms of the workforce and the range of skills and career opportunities in the sector.
  • High-end careers: Technology and design are recognized as an integral part in the sector that brings exciting job opportunities.
  • Competitive wages: Facts about $29/hour wages surprise people and leave a lasting impression.
  • Job security: Students remember information about demand for “millions” of roles and the large size of the sector as part of the national economy.
  • The chance to have an impact: Teens recall points about Crayola and cosmetic products, and have a stronger sense of the role manufacturing has in our everyday lives.
  • Careers you can be proud of: Parents link a strong U.S. manufacturing sector to national self-reliance, and talk about it with a sense of patriotism.

More than just numbers: “How we’re getting our messages across about manufacturing careers is just as important as what we’re saying,” Chrys Kefalas, NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy. “We earned great reactions from these students and parents because we were able to get them to work as teams, to solve problems and to communicate together—to do what manufacturers do every day—to get through each room of the experience and complete the challenge. As one student told FGH, ‘It’s fun as you’re learning something by doing it.’”

“Escape Room” concept hits the mark: FGH found that experience was “fun and appealing for all ages.” The audiences took on a more relaxed and competitive spirit in response to the activities. “The atmosphere was fun, really interactive and upbeat,” said a student in the age 15-17 group.

Bottom line:  “We have a record of nearly 900,000 open jobs in modern manufacturing today, and 4 million jobs to fill, according to The Manufacturing and Deloitte, by 2030. We knew we had to try something different to recruit and excite the next generation. We’re about to hit the next phase of our campaign to bring more of these rewarding opportunities to more people—and now we can be even more confident that we have the right approaches and messages to get the job done for manufacturers and for our country.”