Manufacturing Day Wins ‘Best in Category’: Oakland County Takes 8 Awards From the National Association of Counties

Oakland County Manufacturing Day, which showcases modern manufacturing careers to high school students across the region, won “Best in Category” Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).

Students learn firsthand about the broad range of occupations available in today’s manufacturing facilities during Oakland County Manufacturing Day. (Oakland County photo)

The county was recognized in the “Personnel Management, Employment and Training” category. The award was one of eight won by the county in the annual contest honoring innovative and effective programming that benefits residents. In their evaluation of the program, NACo officials noted the exceptional results and unique innovations of Oakland County Manufacturing Day.

“Oakland County Manufacturing Day has become one of the signature events hosted by the county each year and I’m so pleased Oakland County Michigan Works!, in partnership with Oakland Schools, has been recognized with this prestigious award,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “They have done a great job bringing students and manufacturers together to highlight the broad range of rewarding and challenging occupations found in today’s modern manufacturing facilities. I congratulate Manager Jennifer Llewellyn and her team for their outstanding work.”

Manufacturing Day, in its fifth year, is organized by Oakland County Michigan Works!, Oakland Schools, Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs and Oakland Community College.

The county’s entry highlighted the rapid growth in the number of students participating each year, the strong interest of manufacturing companies across the county to financially support the event and host student tours and the county’s efforts to promote Manufacturing Day via a variety of marketing tools, including social media.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive national recognition while simultaneously inspiring students to consider career options in manufacturing,” Llewellyn said. “We have an amazing team who work on this project each year. If Oakland County Manufacturing Day inspires even a handful of students to follow their passion, we’ve done our job.”

Last year, more than 1,000 students from the four Oakland Tech campuses plus 17 county high schools visited 43 manufacturing companies. Manufacturing Day 2019 takes place Oct. 4. Organizers plan to double the number of high schools sending students and secure at least 50 companies to host tours.

Other 2019 NACo award-winning projects or programs are:

  • Healthy Lake Initiative: Important scientific data was collected to help preserve and protect county lakes. It was a joint effort between the Board of Commissioners, the Health Division, the Huron River Watershed Council/Michigan Clean Water Corps.
  • Digging in the Past: The Bailey Homestead: The Bailey family was among the first to settle in Independence Township and their house was built in 1883. Oakland County Parks and Recreation launched an archaeology project to create real experiences for young people in Independence Oaks.
  • Community Taxpayer Assistance Meetings: The Treasurer’s Office set up face-to-face meetings with taxpayers to discuss delinquent property taxes to prevent foreclosure on homes or businesses.
  • Drinking Water Station Program: The Board of Commissioner launched a program to replace old drinking water fountains in Oakland County schools with modern water bottle refilling stations.
  • Capacity Plan Reporting: This tool, developed by the county’s Information Technology department, simplifies and automates data access, analysis and reporting on capacity, helping the county to understand the effects of environmental changes, look for trends and make informed business decisions.
  • Software Defined Data Center: This approach, also from Information Technology, uses software code to orchestrate the “building” of the cloud environment leveraging automation software.
  • The Wilder Side Nature Education Program: This program, the third winning entry by Information Technology, uses technology to offer nature information to citizens, reducing overall costs of delivering such information.

The county has won 130 awards in various categories in the past 11 years.