Local Companies Discuss Staffing Needs, Collaborative Efforts
By N3 News Team
The inaugural meeting of the Newaygo County Manufacturers Council brought together local business leaders who gathered at The Stream on Tuesday August 16th for networking, brainstorming and...
... dialoguing about the current needs of the manufacturing community and how better to collaborate as a way of achieving company goals.
“Manufacturing is what builds and sustains a community,” said Wendell Kauffman, Director at Sandmold Systems in Newaygo. “Having a strong manufacturing base is a win for everyone.”
Workforce needs took center stage during discussion as the people around the table delivered a common call for more educated and skilled employees. Elevating the level of talent in the business community including both professional and skilled workers is a need that drew many suggestions as to how to link the needs of our local manufacturing entities to local schools. Providing a community environment that would draw people was seen as a strong element of recruiting people from other areas but there remained a strong focus on developing and retaining local talent to meet the needs of the companies.
“Newaygo County becoming a Promise Zone community opens up a lot of possibilities,” said Mark Guzniczak of The Right Place and the Newaygo County Economic Development Office (NCEDO). “We’re not sure yet how that’s going to look but skilled trades education could certainly be a part of it.”
“It’s a great opportunity to develop the relationship between schools, young people and manufacturing,” he added.
Barriers to developing the needed workforce beyond the educational needs were also discussed as some companies expressed difficulties in hiring for entry level positions as well. Transportation issues, child care needs, and other roadblocks often impact attendance and Mr. Guzniczak pointed to some of the creative methods being employed in other communities to assist in those areas.
The group decided to move forward with another meeting to discuss the possibility of putting together a Manufacturer’s Night event as a way to promote an awareness and recognition of the many local opportunities that exist in the manufacturing field.
For information on the Newaygo County Manufacturers Council contact Mark Guzniczak at 837.687.0192 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org