In 2017, we stumbled across a national event called MFG DAY. Through student visits and community events, MFG DAY aims to prove that modern manufacturing is not the dark, dirty and dangerous industry of yesteryear. Rather, modern manufacturing careers are exciting, incredibly high-tech and highly in demand.
It’s up to local communities to host their own MFG DAY and Lancaster didn’t seem to be doing much in the last few years. So, in 2017, Align stepped in to see if we could make MFG DAY bigger and better.
So far so good. In our first year, we increased the number of students attending from 100 to 1000 and this year we are expecting over 3000 students to visit our county’s manufacturers.
But why would a financial services company take on MFG DAY? While it makes perfect sense to us, it may not be so obvious to others. So, let me explain…
Lancaster county is home to over 3,000 manufacturers. Inside those companies are lots of highly talented, highly successful folks. These manufacturers offer many of the high demand, high pay careers that are the focus of efforts of organizations like the Lancaster Chamber and Lancaster’s Workforce Development Board. And yet, my friends in human resources tell me it’s next to impossible to find all the workers they need.
On the other hand, through our 401k services, we are frequently asked to help employees figure out how to access their retirement savings to pay their child’s college tuition. When we ask what careers their child is considering, the most common answer is… “they have no idea.”
Given our goal to help people make good money decisions, we felt we had no choice but to step in. Increases in costs have made “college” a pretty expensive exercise in self-discovery. Add in the four plus years of employment earnings that a young person loses while they are “figuring out what they want to be when they grow up” and you have an equation that just doesn’t make “cents.”
We owe it to our kids to help them do better math and make better decisions when it comes to investing in their career preparation. MFG DAY is one small way that we can help money do more for the people we serve.
Want to learn more about this upside down math… check out “Success in the New Economy” from Kevin Fleming.