Creators Wanted is the Best Mobile Marketing Tour!

Surveys have pointed to the Creators Wanted immersive experience’s impact, with more than 75% of students and other attendees reporting a significantly improved view of modern manufacturing careers after exiting the mobile escape rooms concept. Now, one more sign of success: Creators Wanted wins the coveted Ex Award, presented by Event Marketer, for Best Mobile Marketing Tour (B-to-C).

The details: As part of the Experiential Marketing Summit in Las Vegas, the event industry’s mega show for marketing executives and leading companies and agencies, Event Marketer handed out its 21st annual Ex Awards in a range of categories recognizing the industry’s most impactful strategies and tactics for 2022.

  • Creators Wanted took home the top prize in a heavily contested category, besting Gold Finalist Buick for its #SeeHerGreatness campaign and Silver Finalist WhistlePig’s Bourbon Tour.
  • Companies like Audi, Adidas, Meta, Visa, Google, Hilton, Land Rover, Reddit, Procter and Gamble, Dunkin’, JPMorgan Chase, Prime Video and McDonald’s, among other leading brands, won top honors in other categories.

Power of partnership: The award also recognized the efforts of agency partner, Advoc8, in helping the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute develop and execute the first-of-its-kind immersive experience and tour to build excitement about modern manufacturing careers and help manufacturers with their talent needs today.

The numbers: After 16 tour stops,  more than 7,000 students, as well as parents, teachers and other career mentors, have challenged themselves to get to the future in the immersive experience, busting myths, solving riddles, finding clues and getting hands-on with manufacturing technologies in the process. Leveraging the tour’s surround-sound effect online and earned media, 1.2 million students and career have signed up online to learn more about modern manufacturing careers.

Key point: “The student, parent/guardian and teacher-engagement really tells the story of Creators Wanted,” said Chrys Kefalas, NAM Managing Vice President of Brand Strategy. “We’re not just grabbing attention, we’re not just changing views … we’re changing lives.”

See the full list of Ex Award honorees here.

Creators Wanted Gets Set for Fall Tour

Creators Wanted is gearing up for another season of bolstering positive perceptions of manufacturing careers and inspiring new manufacturers. Its schedule for this fall is now set—and we’re sharing it with you.

The nationwide tour, a joint project of the NAM and its workforce development and education partner The Manufacturing Institute, with significant legacy funding from  Dow, Honda and Trane Technologies as well as contributions from more than 70 manufacturing companies, will stop in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 27–29.

  • The tour features an award-winning mobile immersive experience, to help students, emerging workers, parents and other career mentors learn and get excited about opportunities in modern manufacturing.
  • Tour stop attendees will also meet local manufacturers, interact with hands-on technology, attend presentations by stars in the industry and access resources for training and job opportunities.

Building on big impact: The MI and Deloitte have already reported that positive perception of manufacturing careers has soared from 27% when the tour started to 40% today, just shy of the goal of 50% by 2025.

  • The campaign has amassed—and maintained—an email network of more than 320,000 highly engaged students and career mentors.

Destination Tennessee: The Nashville stop will be the 11th since the tour began last year.

  • Hosted by Electrolux and Schneider Electric and co-presented by the
  • Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, Robertson County Economic Development and FactoryFix, the stop will take place at White House Heritage High School in the Nashville-adjacent town of White House, Tennessee.
  • More than 500 students, parents, teachers and community leaders are slated to attend.

Video from last year’s tour stop in Columbia, SC.

It’s good to be back! From Oct. 4 to 7, as manufacturers nationwide celebrate MFG Day 2022, Nephron Pharmaceuticals will host the second Creators Wanted tour stop this fall, in West Columbia, South Carolina. FactoryFix and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce will also participate.

  • The tour visited West Columbia and Nephron last October. This year’s encore visit to the city will take place at the Nephron Nitrile Factory.
  • More than 20,000 students and career mentors are expected to sign up online to learn more about modern manufacturing careers.

College visit: Next, the tour will visit Decatur, Illinois, on Oct. 24–26, for a stop that will be hosted by Caterpillar and ADM and co-presented by Illinois Manufacturing and FactoryFix.

  • The events will be held at Shilling Center at Richland Community College. This third fall tour stop is expected to draw many visitors from the local community and add more than 20,000 students and career mentors to our network in Illinois.

Windy City premiere: The last stop on the Creators Wanted fall tour will be at the Rockwell Automation Fair, Nov. 16-17, in Chicago. The Creators Wanted immersive experience will be a main feature on the showroom floor at this gathering of thousands of industrial automation leaders and experts.

Learn more: Tour organizers say that there is still time to join the fall tour stop events. Interested in supporting the cause and the MI’s sustained workforce solutions? Contact Barret Kedzior at [email protected].

This story was originally published on Sept. 8, 2022, in Input, the National Association of Manufacturers’ morning newsletter for manufacturing executives.

Creators Wanted Launches New Manufacturing Career Pathways Resource for Students

Creators Wanted, the manufacturing industry’s largest campaign to build the workforce of tomorrow, has launched a beta version for a new online manufacturing career pathways resource for students. A joint effort of the National Association of Manufacturers, the largest manufacturing trade association in the United States, and The Manufacturing Institute, the 501(c)(3) workforce development and education partner of the NAM, the hub of resources looks to match newfound interest in manufacturing careers with jobs and pathways to those careers across the country. Two important notes:

  • On this beta version, users can can click on “Explore New Frontiers,” “Engineer and Design the Future” and “Do Hands-On Work” to preview stories of creators and experience the dynamic layouts ready to be populated with more stories as companies continue to join the Creators Wanted campaign.
  • Site users can click on the “View Career Opportunities” bar in the upper righthand corner and see the job, internship, apprenticeship, certification and degree resources the campaign has curated based on the first five stops of the Creators Wanted Tour Live, the parent, teacher and student-endorsed traveling immersive experience, featuring manufacturing exhibits, demos, hands-on activities, mentorship and education and job resources to inspire, educate and empower a new generation of creators in the United States.

“If manufacturers, colleges, universities, technical and vocational schools, summer camp programs and others have resources that they’d recommend including on Creators Connect, we encourage them to submit them on the main resources page,” said Chrys Kefalas, Chief Strategist of Creators Wanted. “We aim to be the industry’s source for internship, apprenticeship, certification and degree resources—a space currently without any consolidated information for students, parents, career mentors and emerging workers. We’re changing that, thanks to the supporters of Creators Wanted.”

Click here to explore Creators Connect.

Creators Wanted Kicks Off Virtual Campaign

Creators Wanted, the pioneering workforce initiative from the NAM and MI, is adapting to the changing environment to continue its critical work to reduce the skills gap and end misperceptions about modern manufacturing.

What’s happening:
 We’ve gone virtual! The NAM and MI are still doing the Creators Wanted Tour, but they have exchanged in-person experiences for virtual ones (at least for now). The upside: these events will now be accessible to many more people.

Read more from the NAM.

It’s Official: MFG Day is Here

States commemorate manufacturing’s biggest day

Across the country, state governors and officials are making it known that MFG Day and Manufacturing Month are well underway, even in the face of changes to the celebrations because of COVID-19. Recognizing the contributions of modern manufacturers in their state, as well as sharing the “Creators Wanted” call to the next generation, these states stepped forward right out of the gate to help build momentum for MFG Day: 

State manufacturing associations have helped drive the many proclamations and announcements that continue rolling in this year, boosting the country’s largest manufacturing grassroots day of action to excite and educate the next generation about modern manufacturing.

Get Involved: Share #MFGDay20 on your social channels.

Attend: Be a part of one of the MFG Day Official Flagship events on Oct. 13. For more details, click here.

MFG Day Gets Celebrity Boost

The success of MFG Day every year depends on the grassroots efforts of manufacturers and manufacturing-supporting organizations across the country. While COVID-19 has changed many MFG Day plans, it hasn’t changed that core reality. But this year, those efforts will be enhanced by virtual MFG Day events organized by The Manufacturing Institute.

Read more from the Manufacturing Institute.

Share #MFGDay20 on Your Social Networks

Modern manufacturing’s biggest stage to educate and excite the next generation about opportunities to create the future is just about here.

MFG Day is a grassroots movement—led by manufacturers—that relies on each of us to do our part to share the “Creators Wanted” message. By 2028, America will need to fill 4.6 million modern manufacturing jobs—rewarding careers that lift up everyone and make a difference. So, amid this difficult time for the country and world, we have a positive and uplifting call to action for our future.

Use the hashtags #MFGDay20 and #CreatorsWanted to drive attention to MFG Day, and share some facts about opportunities in modern manufacturing. We’ve built a tool to help you do just that.

Here are some additional resources to help our future make it:

Keep checking for new content and follow us at these handles!



@Manufacturing Day

How to Participate Virtually in MFG Day 2020

Every year, shop floors across the country open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders to showcase modern manufacturing careers through MFG Day. Carolyn Lee is the Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. Here she shares what MFG Day is, why it is so important to the future of the industry and how manufacturers can drive attendance to their MFG events.

What is MFG Day?

MFG Day is an initiative to raise awareness for the many opportunities in modern manufacturing. On MFG Day, manufacturers open their doors to open minds about well-paying, rewarding and productive careers that give the next generation the chance to create the future using tomorrow’s technologies today.

When does it take place?

MFG Day begins on the first Friday of October but events extend throughout the month. Last year there were more than 3,000 MFG Day events hosted in 49 states as well as in Canada and Mexico. More than 325,000 students participated in MFG Day events.

What happens at MFG Day events?

Participants get a chance to see what is really taking place on many shop floors. This isn’t your grandparents’ manufacturing industry. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and co-bots—robots that work alongside humans—are commonplace on shop floors. And augmented reality and virtual reality are now just reality for many modern manufacturers. All of this and more is available to those who attend an on-site or virtual MFG Day event.

Why is MFG Day especially important this year?

This is a critical moment for the manufacturing industry. The U.S. economy as a whole is facing an unprecedented challenge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing is no exception, but the industry’s leadership in our nation’s response is showing the public how critical manufacturing is to our country. Manufacturers, the men and women who make things in America, are the ones making the test kits, personal protective equipment and daily items Americans need right now during this crisis. They are developing medicines and vaccines and the equipment needed to test and study treatments. Throughout our nation’s response effort—and during MFG Day in particular—we hope that more young people will see how creators respond when our country needs them most and choose to join in this effort by pursuing a career in modern manufacturing.

Do you have any advice for manufacturers who want to inspire more people to join the workforce?

Host a MFG Day event, and register it on, the new digital home for MFG Day, so people in your area can find it and attend! MFG Day is your opportunity to stand up and be counted, showcasing the reality of careers in our industry. Our country’s future is tied to the continued success of the manufacturing industry, and manufacturing’s success will be determined, as it always has, by its next generation of leaders. Join us in this critical effort to strengthen our industry into the future.

August Update on Creators Wanted and MFG Day

The National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute have continued to monitor the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Our primary goal remains the health and safety of the public and manufacturers, and we continue to channel resources to support the creators who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

To maintain a safe environment and achieve the ambitious campaign goals of the Creators Wanted campaign, we are continuing to delay the start of the Creators Wanted Tour until circumstances warrant a safe launch. In the meantime, we will continue to share the Creators Wanted campaign story across our social media platforms.

MFG Day 2020 is the central anchor of our Creators Wanted efforts in 2020. October is Manufacturing Month and the first Friday of the month, October 2, is MFG Day, organized nationally by The Manufacturing Institute. We will deploy our Creators Wanted message via MFG Day across the country either through in-person or virtual events. Companies or organizations interested in hosting MFG Day events in 2020 can visit our Resources page to get started. Companies or organizations interested in sponsoring MFG Day can review opportunities at this link.

Registration for MFG Day is also now open, and you can search for an event in your area.

To rebound from the pandemic, America will need creators. The Creators Wanted campaign is as relevant and as important as ever. We appreciation the partnership and commitment of our sponsors, and look forward to advancing their and our aims in the months and years ahead.   

Chrys Kefalas
Campaign Manager, Creators Wanted Campaign
Vice President, Brand Strategy, National Association of Manufacturers