Manufacturing Institute to Develop Recruitment Initiative

The Manufacturing Institute has entered a three-year partnership with Union Pacific to develop a “Careers on Track” initiative to encourage women and girls to consider a manufacturing career.


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A stock photo of a woman working in a manufacturing environment

The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, has signed a three-year partnership with Union Pacific Railroad to shrink the workforce gender gap by inspiring women and young people to pursue modern industry careers.

Union Pacific’s $3-million grant will fund MI’s “Careers on Track” initiative, which will support workforce development and career solutions for women through the creation of a digital STEM curriculum, a virtual 3D-mapping STEM experience and a STEM micro-grant program for women.

MI will also leverage existing programs such as Heroes MAKE America, the STEP Women’s Initiative and its own youth engagement platform to bring awareness to the workforce gender gap and inspire the next generation of workers.

“There are nearly 500,000 job openings right now in manufacturing and millions more expected over the next decade, and closing the gender gap is a critical part of meeting this incredible need,” says MI executive director Carolyn Lee. “This partnership will bolster the MI’s existing efforts and allow us to accomplish even more through ‘Careers on Track.’”

“We have a unique opportunity to address today’s workforce crisis head-on,” says Union Pacific executive vice president and chief human resource officer Beth Whited. “At Union Pacific, our goal is to double the number of women in our workforce within the next 10 years, and this partnership with the MI is a crucial step toward that goal.”

MI and Union Pacific hope “Careers on Track” will serve as a national model on how to empower and inspire women and youth, particularly girls, to explore modern career paths by changing the perception of what an industry career means in 2021 and beyond, as well as help women build networks and develop skills to excel personally and professionally.