This month we challenge you to think and think again.

1. Change your view of manufacturing

Area manufacturers make a range of products that improve and save lives – from food to footwear, from fireplaces to fall protection, from nano to nuclear devices. Working conditions are among the best in the world and manufacturers pay good wages with benefits.

In Wisconsin, manufacturing is the No. 1 contributor to the economy, producing more than $65 billion in output in 2019 – 19% of the state’s gross Domestic product. Additionally, the state’s roughly 8,000 manufacturers employed nearly 475,000 people in 2020 – about 1 in 6 workers, according to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

This is Manufacturing Month – time to change your view of manufacturing: These aren’t “just jobs,” they are rewarding, important careers.

2. Take a Halloween challenge

People think nothing of donning a costume and mask for Halloween fun. So what’s the big deal about wearing one for function?

Here’s a simple October challenge: 

  • Go find a few orange, white or black face coverings 

  • Find an iron-on transfer or decoration

  • Dress up the masks

  • Wear them every time you are indoors in a public setting.

Do it for fun and function while keeping in mind that COVID-19 is beyond scary.

3. Put local products on lunch trays

The pandemic has disrupted school cafeterias, so the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that it will invest up to $1.5 billion to help feed students. The emergency monies are designed to address supply chain disruptions, funding challenges and staffing shortages.

The USDA said that one goal is to help school food services more easily acquire U.S.-grown food to serve healthy lunches and breakfasts every day. 

That’s good news for local schools. We hope that school districts will look first to local growers and processors to purchase that food, making the USDA decision good for the local economy, too.

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Email questions to darkin@orourkemediagroup.com.

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