Manufacturing in your community

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Manufacturing In your community

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For six weeks, IEI traveled across North Carolina to learn how manufacturing has affected different communities. We visited Forsyth, Guilford, Lee, Martin, Scotland and Union counties to see how people are embracing manufacturing to help their communities grow. Here is what we’ve learned.

Scotland County

iei-emergingissues-manucomm-scotland“Service Thread has taken a proactive approach to controlling the company’s health care costs while improving the lives of our employees through a robust wellness program that gives employees access to a health care professional weekly onsite. Through education and this assistance, employees have been able to manage their healthcare, reducing their out of pocket costs and improving their health. Service Thread offers quarterly pay incentives for employees in the wellness program based on health improvements like weight loss, lowered cholesterol, quitting smoking, and exercise. One employee discovered a life threatening cardiovascular issue as a direct result of the Service Thread wellness program and was able to have a hereditary heart defect corrected through open heart surgery, likely saving his life!”

“Service Thread is also committed to improving the education and literacy levels of all employees so that they have the tools to succeed. With the help of Richmond Community College and the ACT Work Keys job profile and assessment program, the company has transformed the workforce in to a high performing one.”
– Jay Todd, Service Thread

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About Service Thread’s efforts.

Forsyth County

“Siemens needs welders to perform repairs on turbine parts, but we are unable to find skilled people locally who can come on board and be productive in a short time. We are therefore forced to hire experienced welders from other states to fill our immediate needs. Also, some of our equipment is specialized and requires trained operators which are hard to find. The talent pool for this skill set is global in nature and we often have to hire from other countries for short-term situations. In both examples above, we would like to develop a local talent pool to hire from and meet our requirements. We plan to work with local community colleges and other institutes in developing a curriculum that fits our needs. Objective is to hire locally for our long term business needs.”
– Amogh Bhonde, Siemens Energy

Lee County

iei-emergingissues-manucomm-lee“Manufacturing is coming back in a big way and it is critical that young people see these jobs as skilled, well-paying career opportunities and prepare for them,” said Central Carolina Community College president Dr. Bud Marchant. “To help facilitate this, CCCC has established a partnership with Caterpillar Inc. and Lee County Schools for a Youth Apprenticeship in Welding program. In addition to their usual high school classes, the students are at CCCC and Caterpillar part of the day receiving the most up-to-date training for welding certifications. As they gain skills, Caterpillar employs them part-time during their apprenticeship. The training can lead to full-time employment as skilled welders at Caterpillar or with other manufacturers. This is just the first of several apprenticeship partnerships we plan to institute to prepare young people for the 21st century manufacturing workplace.”
– Bud Marchant, Central Carolina Community College

Guilford County

“I am very pleased to see the Institute for Emerging Issues has chosen manufacturing as it’s focus for this year’s forum. There are opportunities to rally organizations of all sizes to embrace lean manufacturing and a continuous improvement culture. Along with making each organization more competitive, the power of many manufactures embracing that culture could only strengthen the state’s competitive position.”
– Brian Quinn, Steelcase Inc.

“With commodity upholstery manufacturing moving almost entirely overseas, the ability to find a niche in the market and exploit that has been critical to our success.  We have been able to grow through some of the most difficult economic and market conditions by actively listening to our customers and providing them with both products and services to meet their rapidly changing needs.  In this environment, flexibility and adaptability have been critical to our success.” With commodity upholstery manufacturing moving almost entirely overseas, the ability to find a niche in the market and exploit that has been critical to our success.  We have been able to grow through some of the most difficult economic and market conditions by actively listening to our customers and providing them with both products and services to meet their rapidly changing needs.  In this environment, flexibility and adaptability have been critical to our success.”
– Jim Stokes, Miles Talbott Furniture

How has manufacturing affected your community?

Send us your stories here. Register for the 28th annual Emerging Issues Forum, @ManufacturingWorks, and see how your community can take advantage of the opportunities this sector brings to our state.

Send your stories to emergingissues@ncsu.edu.

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