Talent and Sustainable Processes Power Modern Manufacturing at 3M
Advances in connectivity and technology offer growth opportunities across industries—and on Oct. 6, National Manufacturing Day, 3M highlighted the people and processes that are driving its manufacturing capabilities forward.
There is a large volume and diversity of positions available for skilled workers. This demand offers flexibility in terms of both education and career path, while also allowing people to pair their passion with their profession. As a global manufacturer, 3M relies on a robust talent pipeline to drive its operations and those of its customers. The company is committed to supporting the growth of skilled talent and set a goal of creating five million unique STEM and Skilled Trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025.
To achieve its goal, encourage interest in trade careers and support workers in their journey, 3M offers multiple programs and platforms, including:
- The 3M Manufacturing and Academic Partnerships (MAP) program connects students to careers in manufacturing through grants that support a robust mechatronics curriculum, while providing hands-on education for students and access to 3M employees as guest educators. The program began in communities surrounding 3M facilities in the U.S. and has since expanded internationally to Poland.
- Through the 3M Institute and its Formare Program in Brazil, young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are offered vocational education courses in the fields of science and technology, primarily in the communities in which 3M operates. The 3M Institute was created with the mission to contribute to the social transformation of future generations. Over the years, the 3M Institute has not only fulfilled its mission, but has exceeded expectations, thanks to the success of the Formare program.
- 3M’s "Skilled" docuseries celebrates the skilled trades and addresses misperceptions that may be preventing more people from pursuing these vital careers. By highlighting the journeys of four tradespeople, “Skilled” showcases the diversity and breadth of trade jobs, and how workers can find bother personal fulfillment and professional success. It debuted at an officially sanctioned event of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and continues to be screened at various international film festivals, including the Los Angeles International Film Festival, American Documentary and Animation Film Festival, and Twin Cities Film Festival.
- Since 2022, students from St. Paul Public Schools have been using a centralized hub at St. Paul College called the Saint Paul Public Schools 3M Advanced Learning Center. Here, students can take classes and earn college credit in multiple skilled trades disciplines through hands-on learning and state-of-the-art equipment. 3M partnered with Heart of America to help transform this hub into an inviting space conducive to learning. This hub, in addition to ongoing scholarship and support programs, will help local students pursue their dreams in STEM and skilled trades.
In addition to building a sustainable pipeline of skilled talent in manufacturing, 3M is focused on advancing sustainable practices within its facilities. In 2021, the company announced it would invest $1 billion over the next 20 years to accelerate its environmental goals, including a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 3M is proud to report that its greenhouse gas emissions are down 79% from 2002 levels, including a 38% decrease from levels in 2019.
One of the driving forces behind 3M’s path to decarbonization is its accelerated transition toward renewable energy. The company is committed to using 100% renewable electricity to power its operations by 2050 and having reached 51.9% at the end of 2022, it is tracking well ahead-of-schedule.
Recent examples of 3M’s collaborative efforts to advance renewable energy can be found at its facilities in New Ulm, Brookings, South Dakota, and Hutchinson, Minnesota. To transition these locations, 3M’s energy sourcing team worked with the local utilities to find and enable access to wind- and solar-generated power. In addition to benefiting 3M, these customized programs created the opportunity for local businesses to make the renewable transition.
At locations that have not yet fully transitioned to renewable power, 3M is working to source alternative forms of energy. For example, it has invested in multiple on-site solar array installations to help power manufacturing facilities in California, Singapore, and Mexico.
The sustainability of 3M’s operations and its workforce play a critical role in the company’s ability to develop, manufacture and deliver global solutions at scale. By building a pipeline of skilled talent and reducing the environmental impact of its operation, 3M will create greater resiliency for its business and continue leading the way forward in modern manufacturing.