The one thing manufacturing needs to do is raise their profile. Inviting the public into our facilities is the best thing we can do to enlighten and educate the non-manufacturing public about the opportunities we offer for supporting their desired way of life.
PlastiCert held an open house to celebrate our completing a building addition that doubled our manufacturing space. It was long overdue, delayed partly by the crazy last few years of COVID and a rollercoaster economy, (recognizing that the economy and the stock market are two separate entities that behave differently).
We sent out invitations to customers, politicians, and the press, but more importantly to our local businesspeople, school district contacts and community members. Happily, many of those local people turned out. We welcomed the local high school principal who brought three of his teachers along with him. The high school Agriculture/Technology teacher came through and we were able to talk about some of the students he sees that would be great fits for some of our technology openings. The retiring industrial technology teacher stopped to pay his respects and wish us luck going forward (which we reciprocated to him!). We had a few customers come through which we loved to see. One problem with being good at what you do is you rarely get visits from customers. We had bankers, insurance providers, auto service people, FAMILY MEMBERS, and best of all, local citizens come through and see firsthand what their neighbors do to make a living.
It was VERY well worth the time, effort, and of course sheet cake to spend some time with friends but more important pull back the curtain on who we are and what we do, and more importantly how we do it.
One aspect that I had not anticipated or thought about beforehand, was how our coworkers regarded the event. They were engaged and excited to see their neighbors and friends come through. They were happy to hear that our customers had come to see what they were doing, without the underlying thought of a problem brought them to our doorstep. They enjoyed engaging with and showing outsiders what they did and how they did it.
Today we are having a grill out for lunch to both celebrate internally but also say thank you for the efforts they put in prior to and the day of our day in the sun. My advice to any of you that are having a hard time finding candidates for openings, pull back the curtain.