Lehigh Valley, PA – February 6, 2024 – Celebrating 11 years in the Lehigh Valley, the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing® (WSCM®) Student Video Contest welcomes 30 manufacturers and middle school teams from Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties. Since its inception, this local contest format, created by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) here in the Lehigh Valley, has been replicated by sixteen regional contests, and adopted by stakeholders in 11 additional states. Top state officials have recognized the program, and dozens of community partners continue to support “What’s So Cool,” making the annual program sustainable and increasing its statewide reach.

The program’s goal is to increase awareness of manufacturing career paths by showcasing “What’s So Cool” about today’s technology and career opportunities at manufacturers right here in our region. Student teams produce a two-minute profile video of their partnered manufacturer and create an Outreach Plan to share the final video with their school community. All videos will be posted on the “What’s So Cool” website WhatsSoCool.org and will be open to the public for voting on March 13-15, 2024 for the Viewers Choice Award. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students toward considering manufacturing career paths to create a 21st century workforce.

Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) is proud to announce the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing® new venue for the Lehigh Valley Awards Show. This year’s award show is being held at Lehigh University’s Stabler Athletic and Convocation Center (Stabler Arena) located on the Goodman Campus in Bethlehem. The show will also be broadcasted live on WFMZ-TV on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, made possible through the generosity of Air Products, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, and WFMZ.
The program’s continued success and growth are attributed to the efforts the teachers and students have put forth in the community since its inception. MRC project partners eMediaWorks, Sahl Communications, Inc., and EmpowerStar Enterprises, and the community sponsors are committed to its sustainability.

Educational media resources, GoPro Camera kits, professional media training, materials, and project costs were funded and made possible by the following:
Leadership Sponsors: Air Products and Lehigh University
Technology Sponsor: Workforce Board Lehigh Valley
Event Sponsors: ATAS International, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., and PPL Electric Utilities
Platinum Sponsors: ABEC, B. Braun Medical Inc., CliftonLarsonAllen, Crayola, Embassy Bank, Follett Products LLC, Pocono Counties Workforce Development Area, Solar Technology Inc., Stanley Black & Decker, and Univest Financial
Networking Sponsor: Banyan Partners
Gold Sponsors: Aerotek, Fulton Bank, Gross McGinley, LLP, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, Lehigh Valley Plastics, M&T Bank, Mack Trucks, Miller-Keystone Blood Center, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., PNC, Sharp Packaging, and Victaulic
Silver Sponsors: Allied Personnel, Bosch Rexroth Corporation, C.F. Martin & Co., Dynalene, Eastern Surfaces, FMI, Fromm Electric, HMK Insurance, JULABO USA, Just Born Quality Confections, Kitchen Magic, Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh County, Northampton Community College, Penn State University Lehigh Valley Campus, Precision Roll Grinders, and Prototek
Bronze Sponsors: Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School, Carbon Career & Technical Institute, Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, Career Institute of Technology, County of Northampton, DaVinci Science Center, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, and National Museum of Industrial History
Media Sponsors: 99.9 The Hawk, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Lehigh Valley Business Journal, WDIY, and WFMZ 69 News
Cupcake Competitors: Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School, Career Institute of Technology, and Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
Cupcake Judges: Carlo’s Bakery and Northampton Community College Hartzell Hall
Visit WhatsSoCool.org for more information and resources, and follow on social media @wscmlv.


About “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing®”: Developed by Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC), the WSCM program is a video-based educational tool that increases awareness of career paths and technology in manufacturing through “peer marketing” (kids telling kids what’s so cool about manufacturing jobs). The contest is showcased on the What’s So Cool Website and shared nationally through the Manufacturing Institute and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership platforms. The Lehigh Valley contest has expanded across the Commonwealth and the country.

The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” comprehensive manufacturing video library was created by MRC and WSCM PA in 2020 and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED). The interactive library of the who’s who in Pennsylvania manufacturing, garnered from the yearly regional contests, is intended to serve as an educational resource for anyone curious about manufacturing in Pennsylvania. The library can be accessed through the
WhatsSoCool.org website and contains 1128 student videos featuring over 600 Pennsylvania manufacturers.

This contest allows students to connect with local manufacturers, document their experiences, and present them in an educational and “cool” way. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths, and CTC and STEM education. Original funding for “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing” was furnished by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PADCED).

About Manufacturers Resource Center:
For 35 years, the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) has helped small and mid-sized manufacturers become more competitive, adopt lean and agile processes, strategically grow their companies, and invest more effectively in their existing human capital. MRC is a nonprofit organization partially funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST-MEP program and the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. MRC is dedicated to creating jobs and economic opportunities in eastern Pennsylvania’s Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties. Learn more at www.mrcpa.org.