Students Invited to Help Manufacturers Solve Sustainability Challenges

New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (New Mexico MEP), in partnership with the
Albuquerque chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and the New Mexico
Coalition of Sustainable Communities, is inviting students to offer solutions to sustainability challenges faced by the state’s manufacturers. Students will compete with one another by submitting a short video or slide presentation that addresses an individual sustainability goal identified by one of ten participating companies. A panel of judges will evaluate the entries that have been submitted by September 21, 2022, and award a winner in October as part of Manufacturing Day activities. Companies and criteria can be found at

The competition aims to engage New Mexico students in local manufacturing as it increases awareness about social, economic, institutional, and environmentally sustainable development goals identified by the UNA-USA, a program of the United Nations Foundation. Sustainable development goals range from macro ideals such as eliminating poverty and hunger to quality-of-life improvements over which individuals and companies have greater control. Most of the sustainability challenges identified by local manufacturers are related to environmental waste reduction and developing the local workforce.

Students are provided with background materials about participating companies, and tours of
manufacturing facilities may be available if additional information is requested. The competition
requires students to submit a three-minute video or three slides outlining a solution to a challenge
identified by a participating company. Solutions must be tied to a sustainability goal, and entries must be submitted by Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Judges include educators, economic development professionals, and business leaders.

The student competition is part of Manufacturing Day, a national initiative celebrated annually on the first Friday of October. In New Mexico, Manufacturing Day events take place the entire month of
October and include public tours of manufacturing facilities, educational open houses, and
presentations by business resource providers that work to build the state’s manufacturing sector. The competition is being organized by a team in New Mexico MEP’s northwest region, where most of the participating companies are located. However, students throughout the state are invited to compete.

Manufacturing Day activities aim to excite young people about engineering, design, and production
careers and dispel the misconception that manufacturing involves repetitive, unskilled tasks that occur in dark and dirty factories. In fact, today’s manufacturing jobs, which include virtual reality, 3D imaging, and research and development, are highly skilled and take place in exciting and innovative environments.

New Mexico Manufacturing Day events are sponsored by New Mexico MEP. Contact Denise Williams at for more information about the student competition.