What comes to mind when you hear of “manufacturing”? Do you think of state-of-the-art facilities, a fast-paced work environment, and people who love to see the impact they create daily?  

For many, manufacturing carries a negative connotation; so much so that only 35% of parents would encourage their children to pursue the industry. To combat this misconception, companies such as Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and Rowmark teamed up with The Manufacturing Institute to launch Dream It. Do It.

“Manufacturing is technology driven, fast paced and offers exciting career opportunities, but it can be challenging to attract employees. Many students today are not focused on careers in manufacturing and, unfortunately, great jobs go unfilled,” said John Bollman, Cooper’s Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer. 

The Dream It. Do It. program celebrated it’s third year of participating in Manufacturing week, with over 1000 eighth-grade participants from Findlay-Hancock County. Cooper Tire, in their third year of the event, recreated plant activities in a hands-on, experiential learning setting such as raw materials and tire design, tire assembly, mold design and curing, tire finishing and testing. In their first year participating, Rowmark brought their production plant to life showcasing raw materials, processes, equipment, and final products in their facility. Other manufacturers such as GSW, FMT, and Ohio Logistics participated by highlighting their company.  

Dream It. Do It. in conjunction with manufacturing week educated students and left them excited and asking more about the industry. We were very excited to host these students and introduce them to our employees and give them a behind the scenes look into our manufacturing operations,” said Duane Jebbett, Rowmark President and CEO. “We hope this opportunity to showcase Rowmark’s technology and innovation will encourage them to consider a career in manufacturing after they graduate from high school, whether it’s hands-on, or in a support role.” 

Manufacturing Week and the Dream It. Do It. event is made possible by the collaborative efforts of Findlay City and Hancock County school districts, the Findlay Hancock County manufacturing community, and Raise the Bar Hancock County, a local workforce initiative focused on connecting a trained workforce to meet industry needs. 


Rowmark hosted nearly 1,000 local Findlay, Ohio students to the 2017 Manufacturing Day. Students had the opportunity to tour the facility and manufacturing process for Rowmark sheet plastic to learn more about manufacturing and to encourage career opportunities.

Cooper Tire held events for students in our plant communities to enhance the image of manufacturing careers as part of National Manufacturing Day, which is celebrated each October. The events reached more than 10,000 students.