This month, WIRE-Net announced two deserving staff members were being promoted. Tom Birkel who has been working as part of the CIRI team for the last two years will move into the newly created Vice President, Manufacturing Services position, and Brianna Schultz, who has managed WIRE-Net’s youth programs since 2015, has accepted the Vice President, Workforce Development position, and will oversee both the youth and adult workforce programs.
“I am looking forward to building on my past success and helping WIRE-Net move in a new direction consistent with the goals and strategies of WIRE-Net’s 2020 Vision,” Tom recently shared about his new role and responsibilities.
Working as an CIRI Industrial Development Manager for the last two years, Tom has established great relationships with companies in his region and is attuned with their needs and the issues they are facing. Tom says every company he has visited in the last two years has workforce issues and nearly 80% of those companies has no succession plan. In the Vice President, Manufacturing Services position Tom will oversee the CIRI and manufacturing programs, acting as internal champion on ways to help companies address issues and create opportunities for growth.
Tom’s experience includes 25+ years working in the manufacturing sector in the City of Cleveland and progressively responsible positions including Director of Processing (E.F. Hauserman Co.), Sales Manager (Heat Seal Equipment Co.), and General Manager (Cleveland Hardware).
Brianna has been with WIRE-Net for three years, supervising WIRE-Net’s youth team and managing Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities at Max Hayes High School. Brianna has been invaluable in the growth and expansion of WIRE-Net’s youth programs—in this past year she helped launch a pre-apprenticeship program at Max Hayes High School and expand WIRE-Net’s WBL programs to more schools—which now includes Parma and CMSD School of One.
We recently sat down with Brianna to ask her about her new role. “I am excited to have youth and adult programs under one leader. I believe this will improve internal communications and create a common framework for all WIRE-Net’s workforce development programs. I will be involved with all aspects of WIRE-Net to be sure the workforce perspective is considered.”
Brianna says her new role will better align the organization to move towards its 2020 Vision and aid the growth of both WIRE-Net’s youth and adult programs. Brianna’s passion is helping children and adults become the best version of themselves through education, learning, and development. Her daily work as Vice President, Workforce Development helps her fulfill that passion. Prior to working at WIRE-Net, Brianna served as the Program and Service Director for City Year Cleveland where she was part of a team that improved the organization’s ability to help students stay on track to high school graduation.
Saying Farewell to Long Time Staff Members
In April, it was announced that Kareemah Williams, who oversaw WIRE-Net’s CIRI program was leaving the organization to pursue new opportunities. She was an important member of our team, managing our contract with the City of Cleveland and the outreach and data collected from the visits made to manfacturing companies in the City.
More recently, it was announced Mike Hoag, current Vice President of Workforce Development and Apprenticeship Coordinator, would be leaving the organization in July to pursue new opportunities. Mike has held various positions at WIRE-Net over his 22 years with the organization and played a large role in helping to push our organization and City forward. In the last 22 years Mike accomplished quite a bit, playing a large role in Cleveland’s Walworth redevelopment project, securing millions of dollars towards our corridor infrastructure strategy, launching our apprenticeship initiative, and numerous other efforts. These individuals have played a big part in the growth and expansion of the organization. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best on their next endeavors.
For 30 years WIRE-Net has been a leading force to strengthen manufacturing in Greater Cleveland. We provide leading edge expertise and resources that proactively assist manufacturers in understanding and adapting to fast changing trends technology, talent, and organizational leadership. WIRE-Net connects leaders to each other and engages them in their communities. We lead, we connect, we partner.