Podcast: An image makeover for the manufacturing industry

March 27, 2020
It's gonna take a little work to get the youngsters to work in manufacturing.

Here's our sister publication Control's Amanda Del Buono interviewing Terry Iverson, founder of ChampionNow!, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the image of manufacturing in the eyes of young workers.

Amanda: What do you see in the next generation workforce? And why is it important to you to shed the dirty, dingy stereotype of manufacturing in the eyes of the young people coming into the industry?

Terry: Well, I mean, let's face it, the youth are our future. And we have to pay attention to it and we have to do the best we can to be an advocate for our young people, at least I feel.

As far as the 501(C)(3), as I said, I was pretty deeply entrenched in the technical education. I found myself on a CT Education Foundation Board in DC, a workforce development and education board in Florida for about nine years. And so, I decided that I was going to try to change perceptions, that perception of our industry is really not the reality. And that's a big part of what's present today. So, you know, I'm on a plane on my way to Washington for a meeting, and I'm writing down C-H change, and then manufacturing and perceptions, and, as you can tell, CHMP, I'm like, oh wow, change how American manufacturing is perceived. And then the ION, in our nation, just kind of came to me. So, it actually is an acronym.

I started the 501(C)(3) in 2012. And then around 2000...late 2015 and 2016... I had started writing the book in 2013 and put it aside and then I decided to, you know, to jump back in and try to finish it. So, I realized that what I had already written was not really a book, it was more just ideas and thoughts and stories. But then I realized how many people that I knew that were really fascinating people, that were either friends or family or acquaintances. And I think, of the 50 that I interviewed in the book, I only had to really introduce myself to about 10 or less. And then, because I had done coaching and I believed in mentoring so strongly, and I also think we have a parenting situation in our country, that we could all be better parents and the way we parent in today's world is different than the way my parents parented, that we could better that. And so, consequently, I brought in people that had nothing to do with manufacturing but I felt could speak to those two components also.

Find the full transcript of the podcast here.