7th Annual MFG Day Celebration Goes Virtual in 2020


NASA Astronaut to Make Special Appearance at October 14 Event; Scavenger Hunt, Breakout Sessions to Extend Participation

ERIE – The seventh annual Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) celebration will be a one-hour virtual event from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday October 14, 2020, and include a special guest appearance by NASA Astronaut Edward Michael “Mike” Fincke, organizers announced today. The event is presented by the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) and its partners, the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Career Street, along with dozens of area business sponsors. All media are invited to attend the online event by registering online at  

“Each year, thousands of students, teachers and other guests from across Northwest Pennsylvania attend MFG Day to learn about the new and exciting careers that are available in modern manufacturing today,” said John Krahe, president and CEO of the Manufacturer & Business Association. “With the current state of the COVID-19 crisis, we believe that our new, online format is the best way to be able to host the event safely for all involved — whether they are in school or working remotely — and still uphold our mission to educate and inform the next generation about the importance of manufacturing. In fact, with manufacturing careers at the heart of some of the most impactful work being done in response to the pandemic, we are excited to shine a spotlight on this most critical industry and economic powerhouse.”  

In addition to showcasing key facts about manufacturing careers, modern manufacturing and advancements in innovation and technology, this year’s program will include a special presentation by NASA Astronaut Mike Fincke. Fincke, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 1996. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native is the veteran of three spaceflights, Expedition 9, Expedition 18 and STS-134, and is currently training for the crew flight test of Boeing’s Starliner CST-100 spacecraft, the first crewed flight for that vehicle.   

Fincke and his crewmates are working closely with Boeing to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will provide roundtrip crew transportation services to the International Space Station and, along with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, return the ability to launch humans into space from U.S. soil. The program is intended to stimulate development of privately operated crew vehicles to be launched into low Earth orbit.  

“With the amazing work currently being done by NASA and SpaceX, we can’t think of a more exciting speaker to connect with our audience,” said Krahe. “We believe Astronaut Fincke’s experience will help inspire the next generation to realize the sky is the limit when it comes to innovation, technology and manufacturing.”  

The 2020 MFG Day program also includes several “You’re Hired!” segments from area manufacturers on the qualities they look for most when hiring a new employee, a scavenger hunt contest (which began September 23 and ends October 7), as well as educational breakout sessions (starting October 14) that participants will be able to register for by downloading the MFG Day APP (available at  

Contest prizes include a set of Apple Airpods for three breakout contest winners (sponsored by Welders Supply Company), NASA Smartwatch for five scavenger hunt winners (sponsored by National Fuel), UE Boom 2 Portable Waterproof & Shockproof Bluetooth Speaker for three scavenger hunt winners (sponsored by Parker LORD), and an Apple iPad for one scavenger hunt winner (sponsored by Wabtec).  

Manufacturing Day is one of the most highly anticipated industry-related educational events held in Pennsylvania each year. As manufacturers seek to fill 4.6 million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade, MFG Day empowers manufacturers across the country to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.  

“MFG Day is a truly unique experience, and we are proud to say that our event has grown into one of the largest Manufacturing Day celebrations in America,” explains Krahe. “We believe that by working together, we can promote the importance of a robust and innovative manufacturing industry — the most powerful force behind our nation’s economy, which continues to provide outstanding career opportunities for our young people.”  

2020 MFG Day sponsors include: Ridg-U-Rak, Inc., Howard Industries, MacDonald Illig, Parker LORD, Welders Supply Company, Greenleaf, Ellwood National Forge, Penn State Behrend, Eriez, Industrial Sales & Mfg., Wabtec, Erie Strayer, National Fuel, Channellock, Gannon University, Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, Eastern Alliance, McInnes Rolled Rings, American Turned Products, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Widget Financial, Carmeuse and Times Publishing Company.  

For more information or to register for the 2020 MFG Day celebration, visit