While Merriam-Webster defines manufacturing as “the process of making products, especially with machines in factories”, one of the backbones of our national economy is often misunderstood.

Basically manufacturing is making stuff. Sure there are often machines involved, from the old conveyor belt assembly lines to today’s robotics. Factories may be as small as a one-room house or as large as a city block, and may very well be full of computers and sensors. The products can be everything from wind turbines to potato chips to silicon wafers.

For consumers, manufacturing is behind all the products we buy and use. For economists, manufacturing represents value-added production and a source of wealth in a community. For millions of workers and their families, manufacturing means jobs—designing machinery, developing products, fixing robots, working in software, working in green technology, to name just a few.

That is why the process now has its own day.

Manufacturing Day is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing during which manufacturers invite their communities — including students, educators, businesspeople, media, and politicians — to their facilities in a collective effort to educate visitors about manufacturing career opportunities and improve public perceptions of manufacturing.

She & I Designs and Fancy Kitty Products will be hosting a special open house Wednesday, October 3rd as part of the annual celebration.

The local manufacturer will host students and community members throughout the day for tours and hands-on demonstrations that will display first-hand a manufacturing work environment.

“While Fancy Kitty is a very small manufacturing business it will show what local handcrafters can do in marketing to a global community,” said owner Yvonne Brown.

In Missouri, MFG Day is promoted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“In our rural area we may not have many large manufacturing companies,” said a Chamber representative. “However, we are surrounded by many small manufacturing companies with anywhere from 2 to 100 employees.”

Many of these companies have need of skilled labor that has become increasingly hard to find. There is a decided gap between the skill of available workers and the skills that manufactures demand.

“There is an increasing demand for highly skilled professionals in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology,” said Brown. “Manufacturing Day is designed to introduce young people and others in the community to the manufacturing sector and career opportunities, and demonstrate the contributions manufacturing makes to the local economy.”

The open house will be held at 321 E Prime Street in Downing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 3rd.

Started in 2012, MFG DAY has seen participation grow dramatically over the years. In 2017 President Donald J. Trump invited a delegation of manufactures led by National Association of Manufactures President and CEO Jay Timmons to join him at the White House as he signed an official Presidential proclamation declaring October 6, 2017 as National Manufacturing Day.

Each year the Official Manufacturing Day is held on the first Friday of October.