Early Career Ambassadors Offer Their Insights

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About this time last year, EBAMP collaborated with the California Community Colleges, the Manufacturing Institute, and the NAM to launch the Bay Area chapter of the Dream it. Do it. network.

Once the steering committee chose to move forward with the Ambassador program as its initial foray, we piqued the interests of manufacturers across the region to participate in the program in order to connect with students in nearby schools. With support from AMTAC and the region’s Workforce Boards, we kicked off the effort in February (blog post).

Since then, seventeen Ambassadors from five companies have interacted with over 650 students, 3 dozen educators, and others through classroom discussions and career fairs in Martinez, Pittsburg, Clayton, Oakland, San Lorenzo, and Hayward. Two Ambassadors even came to speak to fellow manufacturers and other attendees at an EBAMP meeting early in the spring.

Pique Student Interest

In August, Brent Weil, Senior Vice President of the Manufacturing Institute, worked with us to host a webinar for our first group of early career Manufacturing Ambassadors to see what these experiences taught the ambassadors and how we can further capitalize on our success.


Scandic's Ambassadors found students opening up by simply saying their names, listing vocabulary and discussing equipment common to machining and metal fabrication. The Dow Ambassadors made a good connection by using two truths and lie (one description here). The Finelite team discovered that passing around hardware for the students to see and feel was much more engaging than powerpoint presentations.


Ambassadors discussed their day-to-day work, how they got interested in it, and the equipment they typically use. Dow for instance, passed around and discussed different kinds of process control equipment and did a quiz game afterward, giving Dow swag as prizes, which was really effective in holding the students' interest!

Particularly notable was a game that Dow's Julio Chavez thought of, I spy, connecting everyday objects around the room to the objects he brought to demonstrate. In this case, I spy a valve. After discussing a valve he'd brought, Julio had students look for valves around the room; in doing so, they found five valves in different places serving various functions. This activity really helped students wake up and engage, and Julio used the new-found energy as a springboard to the next part of the discussion.

The Ambassadors found the students were really interested in hearing their personal story, their experiences, how they arrived at their career paths, and where they're at today. Sharing those personal experiences yielded a much greater level of engagement! The Ambassadors felt that this was particularly important for students who might not have had the same opportunities in life or an exposure to these career paths. At the end, encouraged lots of questions and handed out flyers on careers in manufacturing.

questions and Parting thoughts

Students asked lots of questions. They were interested in knowing educational paths for the Ambassadors' careers. Particularly for the youngest of the Ambassadors, the kids were really curious as to how they discovered their careers and what they themselves could do to follow that path. The kids poured over the flyers which provided career and salary data for several different facility careers. In more than one instance, students and teachers alike asked for contact information and expressed strong interest in learning more and attend a tour of the facility.

Plan MFG Day

Teams went on to discuss their plans for MFG Day

Oakland Unified School District (OUSD)

OUSD is once again partnering with Laney College, the City of Oakland, and manufacturers around the metropolitan area (including AB&I Foundry) for a day-long event, where students will visit 2 manufacturing sites (about 75 minutes each) and convene on Laney campus for lunch and tour of two CTE programs (about 25 minutes each). Students will have an opportunity to engage directly with those enrolled in the CTE courses as well. Last year, OUSD's Emiliano Sanchez said schools took some convincing, but this year, as a result of the past success, schools were approaching Emiliano to ensure they could participate! The event will take place early in November, to accommodate school & production facility schedules.  


Dow has long been a staunch supporter of MFG Day. This year Dow is partnering with the Pittsburg chamber and Earn and Learn East Bay to bring in about 40 Pittsburg High School students. MFG Day activities will include a short chemistry experiment, a site tour, and a tour & discussion with two control rooms and their staff. The team is planning similar events for National Apprenticeship Week in mid November.

Bishop Wisecarver

Pamela Kan and Melsha Winchester of Bishop Wisecarver, also a regional leader in MFG Day, are also planning a MFG Day with hands-on activities, an interactive plant tour, culminating in a panel discussion where students and visitors get to learn of the different careers that support the operation. Pamela also mentioned that they are taping a new KQED Perspective to get the word out of the importance of opening the doors to Bay Area manufacturing facilities to the public, to bring awareness to the community.

Scandic Springs

Similarly, Scandic Springs will be integrating their Ambassador presentations with shop floor tours, where students from in and around San Leandro will have a chance to speak directly with machine operators.


  • Register your event on MFGDay.com: check out Resources, Toolkit, Infographics
  • Make use of Rock MFG Day! by EduFactor: interactive quizzes, countdowns, videos, etc.
  • Take lots of pictures at your MFG Day event!!
  • Make contact to learn how to get involved in Bay Area Dream it. Do it.
  • Make your MFG Day events interactive and engaging.
  • Measure Impact. Make use of MFD Day tools for recording your results.

In Attendance

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  • George Russo, Coordinator
  • Jose Carrascal, Coordinator
  • Julio Chavez, Ambassador
  • Ouiza Djenani, Ambassador
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  • Andrew Roberts, Coordinator
  • Chris Marquez, Ambassador
  • Jericah Marquez, Ambassador
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  • Masoud Habibzadah, Ambassador
  • Ivan Chin, Ambassador
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  • Jimmy Dileo, Ambassador
  • Nick Darling, Ambassador
  • Evely Him, Ambassador
  • Jenny Landon, Ambassador

Also In Attendance

  • Pamela Kan and Melsha Winchester, Bishop Wisecarver
  • Brent Weil, Manufacturing Institute
  • James Gardner, EBAMP
  • Mark Martin, California Community Colleges
  • Emiliano Sanchez, Oakland Unified School District
  • Jon Fowkes, AMTAC


  • State of California and Contra Costa Workforce Development Board, for funding and support.
  • Mark Martin and CA Community Colleges, for sponsoring the Bay Area chapter Dream it. Do it. subscription in 2016 and 2017.
  • AMTAC, for additional resources, including Dream it. Do it. student brochures and meeting expenses.
  • Earn & Learn East Bay, Oakland Unified School District, Eden Area ROP, and all participating schools, for connecting Ambassadors to speaking opportunities.
  • All participating manufacturers, for offering their time and energy outside their work obligations.