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Deshler Group's Manufacturing Day


Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of modern manufacturing, produced by the National Association of Manufacturers, to inspire and educate students, educators and policymakers on career opportunities in manufacturing. This annual event, supported by local businesses, agencies and trade associations, enables students to engage with manufacturing industry professionals, with the long-term goal of addressing the skilled labor shortages that domestic producers face.

As part of the Livonia-based Deshler Group’s long-standing commitment to youth mentoring and STEM education, the family of automotive supply companies worked with Van Dyke Horn to create, develop and host a comprehensive program for simultaneous engagement events for Manufacturing Day.













Van Dyke Horn worked with Deshler Group’s leadership to create interactive programming at each of its regional manufacturing facilities that would immerse local students in authentic industry environments. Deshler Group’s four facilities house divisions of automotive-focused metal stamping, supply chain management, warehousing, and aftermarket automotive product production.

Students from the Livonia, Ferndale and Logan, Ohio areas received an up-close look at Deshler Group’s diverse capabilities. They also learned about the variety of careers and processes behind the creation of parts produced by the Tier-1 automotive supplier, including interactive discussion sessions with seasoned staff members representing different aspects of the industry.

In addition to all aspects of event planning and real-time onsite support, Van Dyke Horn collaborated with local workforce development organizations as well as municipal and county agencies and school districts to coordinate transportation, scheduling and safety protocols. Van Dyke Horn also developed a dynamic social media campaign to increase community engagement, including custom-branded, geo-fenced Snapchat filters and preparation and execution of real-time content posting.


Since 2017, Van Dyke’s Horn’s support for Deshler Group’s Manufacturing Day program has grown each year in size and scope, with over 300 students and multiple school districts engaged annually during four simultaneous activations at separate sites across two states. 

Social media engagement has steadily grown each year, with live-streamed video and organically distributed student-generated content reaching beyond the local community, boosted through the social media channels of participating agencies and supporters of the Manufacturing Day program at the regional, state and national level.

Media engagement in Deshler Group’s local and industry media markets has resulted in excellent local coverage, such as an op-ed from Deshler Group’s president in Crain’s Detroit Business, making a case for the expansion of regionally coordinated Manufacturing Day events, and an on-air interview on NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the state of workforce development and the future of a quickly evolving industry.