1. "I can't find enough people with the right skills and attitude."
60% of manufacturers say that the inability to attract skilled talent is actively hindering their growth. This is striking in itself, but layer in that manufacturing is projected to continue growing both in revenue and jobs, and that there is a growing number of retirement-eligible employees in the manufacturing workforce . . . and it can start to feel overwhelming.
2. "This initiative appears to be different than some things I've tried or seen in the past."
Manufacturers have tried a lot of different tactics and pulled a lot of levers to attract and develop the skilled labor they need. Lots of great work is being done by workforce development partners, educational institutions, and non-profits in the area. And yet we still have a 2,000+ open job gap in manufacturing in the region.
This sector partnership was initiated with an unprecedented collaboration of eight leading funders in Cuyahoga County, that selected the sector partnership model for one key reason: it is employer owned and employer led. By having the employers set the vision, select the strategies, and own the process, it creates a high level of alignment of all the resources towards the true end-game: people being hired into great career paths in roles they are excited about, trained to supply in-demand roles with eager employers.
3. "I love the concept of manufacturers coming together to collaborate to solve problems that my organization wouldn't be able to solve on its own."
The initial work to set a vision for the sector partnership, generate a vast list of potential strategies, and select the initial focus areas, was done by a high-caliber group of local manufacturing executives. The owners/CEOs/COOs of 14 manufacturing companies, ranging from 30 employees to 8,000 employees came together in April and May 2019 to learn about the state of the labor force in Cuyahoga County, including the top barriers that people face getting into manufacturing jobs. They set their individual needs aside for the greater good of manufacturing in the area. "If we raise the water and create a surplus of trained, capable workers, we will all benefit," stated one member of the Manufacturing Leadership Team.
4. "I truly believe that manufacturing jobs can be a way to help individuals and communities in our region to personal and economic development."
One of the key components of the sector partnership's path forward is a focus on driving a higher level of diversity and equity, as well as more effective access to populations we have not historically accessed effectively (re-entry, immigrants, etc.). Manufacturing jobs have the potential to provide opportunity to individuals to earn family sustaining wages and a rewarding career path. Many of the manufacturers that have gotten involved thus far, are articulating a growing passion for the community benefit component of the work that will be done. This also creates an opportunity innovate new and unique ways to support people overcoming the barriers that would have kept them out of training or job opportunities.
Join Us Live or Via Zoom Meeting
On July 25 and 31, 2019, manufacturing executives, operations leaders, or human resources managers will have the opportunity to learn more about the vision and strategies of the Workforce Connect manufacturing sector partnership. As the program begins implementation, the program's manufacturing leadership is looking for feedback from other manufacturers on the planned path forward, as well as additional ideas for future strategies.
The program's manufacturing leadership is looking for feedback from other manufacturers.
The sector partnership team is actively looking for manufacturing leaders who have a passion for the implementation aspects of driving change. There will be an initial six Action Teams formed to focus on specific, impactful areas. These action teams will be a collection of manufacturing leaders/employees, workforce development partners, education/training providers, and community.