Regional Competitiveness Committee
All the former advantages for doing business in the Southeastern region have slowly dissipated. We have become a service focused economy and are viewed with distain by other regions within our state. The only response left for us is to join forces with each other. We are a region of small, talented companies who can benefit by pooling resources, sharing niche specialties and leveraging long term relationships. This committee is focused on facilitating cooperation among business leaders, developing strategies that will enhance our regional presence and creating events/communication tools that will allow others in the region to become aware of the products/skills that exist right next door.
Talent Pipeline Committee
In a recent survey of alliance manufacturing members, the lack of skilled workers to run the increasingly sophisticated equipment on today’s production floor was the number one issue. The challenge of helping to build a sustaining talent pool was taken head-on by membership and a taskforce was formed. Working with the colleges, tech schools and high schools, outreach programs have been developed and implemented. Only in its third year, “Manufest” is already a big hit with students and their parents. The alliance has also received grant funding from the state of Pennsylvania for incumbent worker training. The grant has also provided a full-time project coordinator to support and guide the many facetted endeavors undertaken by the committee.
Apprenticeship Programs in the Region
In partnership with the National Trade and Machinist Association (NTMA), The Alliance is helping to create a regionally driven apprenticeship program. Using some of the course curriculum and introductory training cohorts developed by the community colleges, the pilot programs have been completed and the full blown training programs have been launched. The initial introductory cohorts have proven to be a good incubator tool to determine if a student’s interest is followed up with ability and aptitude for machine work. The partnership with the colleges has also allowed the apprenticeship candidate the opportunity to accumulate college credits and gain easier access to degree programs further down the road. The Alliance continues to pursue state funding support as the alliance is a long term commitment demanding assistance on multiple fronts.
Internships Programs with our Manufacturers
A major goal of all the manufacturing alliances is to encourage member organization outreach to young people in our schools and communities. While most of our member companies rely on “on the job” training for most of its employees, an internship strategy is seldom used to provide “in the business” learning for a young person interested in a career in manufacturing. An effort has been launched to encourage sponsorship plans for organizations with the ability to host student interns.
Service Providers within The Alliance
The Alliance enjoys a symbiotic relationship with our regional service providers. It is important to note that the services providers in this organization play an active support role and can add value to our members. Aggressive solicitation of our members is frowned upon by the organization and we ask that all service providers behave professionally and respect all our participants. This committee meets as a group a few times per year to discuss how we can collectively grow and strengthen the manufacturing community in our region. All new service providers will be reviewed by the leadership team before invited to join our organization. If you are interested in joining The Alliance and believe you have something to offer our membership, please send us an email to state your business case ([email protected]).