Solutions and new strategies for workforce recruiting

KCMN’s March meeting featured 4 speakers who shared their efforts to increase the pipeline of qualified workers in manufacturing and related industries.

Shannon Martinez, Program Manager with the Kansas Department of Commerce shared information about the Workforce Aligned with Industry Demand (AID) program.  Workforce AID is a business driven training solution.  The program covers costs for students to attend training programs tied directly to  technical/employability skills needed, they receive college credit and/or industry credentials, and are guaranteed an interview with employers upon program completion. To date, over 200 jobs have been filled, and about 90% of graduates are hired by the companies partnering with the program. Presentation/contact information here - Workforce AID Presentation March 2017

Torree Perderson, Executive Director of the Greater KC Chapter of NTMA talked about NTMA’s BotsKC program. As one solution to concerns that fewer young workers choose or consider manufacturing careers, BotsKC gives students an real world training opportunities in a fun and engaging environment.  The battle bots are purchased by NTMA for participating schools.  Student teams are mentored by manufacturing company employees, providing a link to companies and future career opportunities.  The program has grown rapidly in the past 3 years, and additional schools and mentors are needed. See Torree’s presentation here-  BOTS KC 2017.  The BotsKC tournament is March 25 – anyone who is interested is encouraged to attend. More information at BotsKC INDUSTRY Invitation_opt.

Greg Kindle, President of the Wyandotte Economic Development Council shared data about the growth in Wyandotte County employment, and the challenges it has created.  With $3 billion in investment over the past 5 years, the need for a stronger pipeline for employees was noted by 70% of WyCo employers.  Increased offerings for training has been developed at area and regional colleges, career academies and at the Workforce Training Assistance Center.  Workforce AID programs have been utilized as well. Additionally, WYEDC has formed a consortium of over 40 non profit, governmental, and educational programs to help get the word out about job openings. This provides employers a much broader reach to candidates without the time investment in outreach and multiple postings.  See Greg’s complete presentation WYEDC Presentation March 2017

Tim Welsh, Executive Director of the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Wichita, a world-class aviation and advanced manufacturing training center, where he leads NCAT’s Talent Solutions Coalition (TSC). The Coalition functions as a national aviation industry talent supply chain. TSC is retained by aviation industry employers and associations to help them source talent from multiple markets, improve talent retention and institute best practices in talent planning. The talent supply chain created includes promotion of opportunities at two and four year institutions, and sometimes high schools as well.  TSC also functions as a Center of Excellence for members to share best practices in a trusted environment. While the program launched in Wichita, it is spreading throughout the country as a way for companies to reduce talent acquisition costs.   See Tim’s presentation here: KCMN TSC Overview Additionally, NCAT is hosting a Talent Planning Management Forum March 23 & 24th in Wichita.  Click here for details.