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What You Need to Know About Volunteering for Career Events

Posted by Kayla Manuel, DRMA Staff

In-person career events are temporarily on hiatus, which makes this the perfect time to on-board new volunteers! I’m hopeful that we’ll be back on track in the fall, but I’m also exploring virtual options for career awareness events. School outreach is an important part of DRMA’s mission to grow the manufacturing workforce pipeline, and we rely on volunteers from our member companies to help us get the work done. This is also a great opportunity to get your company name in front of your potential workforce. I know that you need employees, and there are a lot of students out there that need career options.

If you’re interested in volunteering, here’s what you need to know.

DRMA offers several types of career events to schools: power lunches, career fairs, and speaking events. For power lunches, we set up a display in the school’s lunch room and talk to students as they come up to our table. Same thing for career fairs, except we’re not the only exhibitor present. Speaking events are longer engagements in a classroom or auditorium. We have posters with salary info and education pathways, cool giveaways, and small table-top robots for students to interact with.

DRMA handles all the set up for these events – what we need from you is to show up and talk to students! We want you to talk about how you got into manufacturing, why you like it, what you do in a normal day, etc. There’s no public speaking involved for power lunches or career fairs; we want you to engage in one-on-one, personal conversations with the students. Most of these interactions are quick and you don’t have to worry about representing the whole industry in two minutes or less. We simply want students to be aware of manufacturing and know that it’s a career option for them after graduation.

I like to see volunteers from every level of the company, from the CEO to the newest hire. It’s especially important to have younger volunteers, as they can relate better with the students. We also always need more women and people of color to represent the industry – if students can see themselves represented, they are much more likely to consider manufacturing as a career.

I always make sure to have one or two experienced volunteers at an event – I'm not going to throw you to the wolves! You’ll have a chance to observe before you dive in, and I or another DRMA staff member will be there to keep the conversations moving.

Signing up to be a volunteer doesn’t mean you’re signing your life away. If you agree to volunteer, I’ll add you to an email group. When I have events, I email the group and you sign up for the event(s) you are able to attend. Even attending just two events a year is a huge help!

So what are you waiting for? Contact me to sign up now or learn more.


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