It's true, each day throughout the year marks a "holiday" celebrating something, whether it be well-known and widely recognized or obscure and, well, odd.
Take, for example, Nov. 14, which according to National Whatever Day is Operating Room Nurse Day. The website states it was established on that date back in 1989 by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to honor those responsible for our care and well-being in operating rooms. So if you have the misfortune to undergo a surgical procedure that day, be sure to give a shout out to the nurse taking care of you.
I'll bet you didn't know that Aug. 30 is Frankenstein Day. On this day in 1797, Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein, was born. Feel free to dress up as the title character, but don't be surprised if people look at you strangely or run away screaming.
Then there's one of my personal favorites—International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sept. 19. I mean really, who doesn't want to talk like a pirate all the time? On this day not only is it socially acceptable, it's encouraged. ARGH.
With all of the odd tribute days throughout the year, there is one new one that is long overdue. Oct. 5 is now officially Manufacturing Day, dedicated to educating the community about the industry in hopes of directing more people toward related careers.
The event is co-sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), the U.S. Commerce Department's Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), Wisconsin MEP (WMEP), and Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). MEP is part of the DOC's National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Studies conducted by the nonprofit Manufacturing Institute and others show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is vital to this country's economic prosperity, standard of living, and national security. But with only 30 percent of respondents admitting to encouraging their children to pursue manufacturing careers, there seems to be a disconnect between what people say is important and what they really value.
It's a small step, but Manufacturing Day is just another way of closing the gap between the public's perception of the trades and what is real. Companies are encouraged to host an open house on this date, inviting the public, including students and local media, onto the shop floor to see what 21st century manufacturing environments look like and to learn a little bit about how they work.
So while you're marking your calendar for International Talk With a Fake British Accent Day (Dec. 17), Skyscraper Day (Sept. 3—that's for you, ironworkers), or National Flash a Trucker Day (yikes), make sure to include Manufacturing Day. While you're at it, open your doors to the community so they can see why manufacturing made our country great and how your contributions continue to shape the industry's legacy.