Throughout his four decades in manufacturing, Terry M. Iverson, president and CEO of machine tool distributorship and rebuilder Iverson & Co. (Des Plaines, IL), has battled the misperception that it is a second-rate career alternative and worked to create opportunities for young people through manufacturing. Iverson has now written a 300-page, 14-chapter book on the topic, “Finding America’s Greatest Champion: Building Prosperity through Manufacturing, Mentoring and the Awesome Responsibility of Parenting.”
The book chronicles a theme that points to all those who “Dream Differently”—the title of a book authored by Vince Bertram, one of the more than 40 professionals Iverson interviewed. Personalities include four-time Emmy-winning director Don Dupree, play-by-play announcer Wayne Larrivee, author Nicole Martin, entrepreneurs such as Pre-Heels inventor Dana Ward and AirHook inventor Craig Rabin, as well as many executives, elite athletes, parents, clergy, media personalities, and leaders in manufacturing, education, and politics. Former Walgreens CEO Greg D. Wasson wrote the book’s foreword.
“Parents and educators, business, and America’s culture must strive to better prepare our youth of tomorrow,” Iverson said. “While I am passionate about manufacturing, the overarching message is that we, as parents, must listen to what lights up our children. So many parents have the opportunity to empower their children or mentor others. An entire generation is waiting for the light switch to be flipped.”
Iverson is part of a wave of manufacturing CEOs who are spreading the word about the industry’s technology-driven culture, automated facilities, and career tracks that are strong and well-defined. He founded ChampionNow!, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that introduces young people to manufacturing careers by changing their perceptions, engaging them in internships, and inspiring them with videos and presentations.
“[The book] honors people who earn their living designing, engineering, tinkering, and dreaming of making things,” he noted. “I hope to influence the perception of manufacturing in education and in the minds of young people and their parents. Equally important, I want people to know they have choices and that some young people can excel in manufacturing beyond their wildest dreams.”
The book debuted during the International Manufacturing and Technology Show (IMTS), Sept. 10-15 in Chicago. Iverson and his book are featured in the Student Summit area at Booth 215313. Experts featured in the book also hosted the table to meet those who came to the student summit. People are encouraged to use the book as a tool during Manufacturing Day events every October.
“So many young people do not know that good paying careers are available in manufacturing and the industry isn’t what it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago,” Iverson added. “In today’s world, it is automation, robotics, engineering, and the excitement about making things and being a part of something big.”
Iverson launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign Aug. 30 to raise $22,000 to help fund the self-publishing of his book. Supporters can donate anywhere from $10 to $2,500 and receive thank-you rewards that include a metal chess set made on a CNC lathe machine from Iverson’s shop floor and a VIP NHRA pass with top fuel driver Tony Schumacher, who is also featured in the book.