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When the coalition known today at the Dream It. Do It. PA partnership – of which the Da Vinci Science Center is a partner – created its student video contest on manufacturing careers, the partners were trying to make an impact on the greater Lehigh Valley area.
Less than three years later, the partnership’s video contest format has been adopted by groups in several other Pennsylvania regions and in five other American states – Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The Dream It. Do It. PA partnership – which is led by the Manufacturers Resource Center (MRC) in Allentown, Pa. – created the contest after MRC Executive Director and CEO Jack Pfunder saw his grandson’s producing a video with his mother’s iPad tablet.
Teams of middle school students are provided video equipment and training and for the contest – titled What’s So Cool About Manufacturing? – are matched with manufacturing companies and teacher coaches. The teams created short video profiles of their companies and the career opportunities they offer. By improving the image of these careers and creating awareness for them, the contest not only aims to sustain manufacturing careers, but aims to help them thrive.
The Lehigh Valley contest concludes annually with a community celebration during which awards are given. Awards include a Viewers Choice Award, for which fans can vote on the web at DreamItDoItPA.com. Dream It. Do It. PA supports contests in other regions and states by providing web hosting and Viewers Choice voting support for interested groups.
The Dream It. Do It. PA partnership is dedicated to changing perceptions and attitudes in the Keystone State about advanced manufacturing careers. Dream It. Do It. PA started in 2013 as an effort called Lehigh Valley Skill Up to raise awareness in the Lehigh Valley area. The popularity of the partnership’s flagship student video contests and its rights to the national Dream It. Do It. brand for Pennsylvania have enabled it to expand its reach throughout the commonwealth.
The Dream It. Do It. PA partnership evolved from a special Lehigh Valley Manufacturing Summit held in Aug. 2011 by the Da Vinci Science Center. Original funding was furnished by grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Additional Lead Partners for Dream It. Do It. PA include Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI) in Schnecksville, Pa.; PBS39 Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.; Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School (BAVTS) in Bethlehem, Pa.; Career Institute of Technology (CIT) in Easton, Pa; and Carbon Career & Technical Institute (CCTI) in Jim Thorpe, Pa.