The Manufacturing Institute and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have announced a partnership coinciding with the Institute’s 2018 STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Ahead Awards on April 10 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Manufacturing Institute will work with five local BGCA chapters to include Chicago; Cleveland, Ohio; Hartford, Connecticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Omaha, Nebraska, to expose students to manufacturing-related educational activities.

Participants who are members of BGCA will create videos that have a manufacturing theme. One young woman from each of the five participating cities will be selected to attend and speak at the STEP Ahead Awards.

With nearly 700 attendees, the STEP Ahead Awards is a national gala honoring 130 women in manufacturing — from the factory floor to the C-suite — for their leadership and accomplishments in the industry. The STEP Ahead Awards further encourage women to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers.

“Companies across the U.S. agree there is a talent shortage in manufacturing," Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee said. "Through the STEP Ahead Awards, we hope to take another step toward closing this gap by highlighting the stories of successful women in manufacturing and giving them a platform to be role models for the next generation. We are extremely excited about this partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to demonstrate to young women what modern manufacturing careers are all about: making an impact and offering significant opportunities for growth.”

“Recruiting young women into manufacturing careers is critical for the future success of the industry,” BCGA Chief Development and Public Affairs Officer Julie Teer said. “We are excited about this partnership with The Manufacturing Institute because our goal is to provide the road map to great futures for young woman in an industry that has been the key to prosperity, as well as, the cause of economic growth.”