Manufacturing Works Blog

Online Presentations Give Students Insights Into Manufacturing Careers

By Manufacturing Works - January 13, 2021

Throughout the entirety of this pandemic, Manufacturing Works has been coming up with new creative ways to connect high school students with our Northeast Ohio manufacturing partners. One exciting pathway we’ve taken is online presentations. 

In these presentations, we give students insights into the career opportunities they could have through various manufacturers. We include a presentation from the company itself, a current employee Q&A panel, recorded plant tours, and any other company-specific information that may help peak interest. 

Manufacturing WorkersSo far, our Student Workforce Advancement Group team (in collaboration with MAGNET and Workforce Connect) has worked with three different manufacturing organizations to create presentations for students. To date, we have collaborated with Jergens, Inc., Rockwell Automation, and Hose Master. All three of these companies are unique in their own way and offer something different to students. 

We want to show that the manufacturing world has plenty to offer and is involved in many different workforce areas. That’s why we worked together to create these individualized company presentations that give an overview of these companies—each of which started as a live presentation to students, which was then recorded for future use and greater exposure. 

Since we record in front of a live audience, it allows the recording to feel much livelier than a normal recording would. This also helps keep students more engaged while watching the presentation after the fact. 

To engage students even further, we decided to have them complete a pre-survey before the presentation and a post-survey afterwards. We did this to see if there was a change in students’ perceptions of manufacturing after viewing our presentations. 

The main question we asked students was, “How much do you know about manufacturing?”, and asked them to rate it on a five-point Likert scale. Below is a visualization of the improvement of knowledge surrounding manufacturing.

Response Pre-Survey Post-Survey
I know nothing 7.1% of responses  0% of responses
I know a little 60.7% of responses 25% of responses
I know a decent amount 28.6% of responses 54.2% of responses
I know a lot 3.6% of responses 12.5% of responses
I am an expert 0% of responses 8.3% of responses

As you can see from the table above, students overall feel they had learned more about manufacturing after our presentations. In fact, no one chose the “I know nothing” option afterwards, and most responses went from only knowing a little to knowing a decent amount about manufacturing. The table also tells us that most students became increasingly knowledgeable after the presentation compared to the pre-survey. 

Another important question we asked was, “How interested are you in a manufacturing career?” We wanted to analyze whether our presentation would increase students’ desire to work in manufacturing. 

All the students surveyed were at least slightly interested in a manufacturing career. After conducting both surveys, we saw an increase in interest among students. Below are two charts from each survey for comparison.

Pre Survey InterestPost Survey Interest
In the post-survey, we also asked students to answer more questions about the presentation itself. Out of all the responses, no student said they were bored during the presentation. In fact, most of the responses we got said they found the presentation to be interesting. We also asked students to give us their reasonings for the above responses just to hear more about why they responded that way. Here are some of their responses:

I found that it placed a very strong emphasis on the culture of the company and the various benefits of working there. Additionally, I thought that the presentation was captivating as to the different facets of the business.
Many of the panelists discussed how they first started out in their careers, and I found that extremely valuable as that is the stage that I am currently at.
I learned about a new company and got some insight into what a manufacturing job requires.
I’m interested in a manufacturing career; I’m going to school for engineering and the certain things talked about in today’s event can help me get where I’m trying to go in this industry.

Our final question to students was if they were interested in learning more about the manufacturing field. Over 90% of the respondents selected that they were interested in learning more about the field. 

As mentioned previously, we’ve already worked with three different manufacturing organizations and are more than open to working with more. If you would like to be involved in one of these events, please contact Jessica Westropp, senior manager, youth workforce development, at so we can work together to get students involved in manufacturing. 


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