As a writer, one of my favorite moments is when I get to see stories come full circle. When I interviewed Vance Brison, the newly named president of Faith Technologies University, for this month’s cover story on in-house training programs within manufacturing, one insight he shared stuck out to me: Capacity to learn and grow within a job is more important to employee retention than compensation.
A couple of days later, I got to speak to Robert Wolf, who’s enrolled in Pierce Manufacturing’s GED to Work program, and his appreciation to the company for investing in him and allowing him to grow was clear. The 25-year-old is one test away from completing his GED, and he’s thrilled with the prospect of beginning a full-time job with benefits that allows him to help build something super-cool: fire trucks.
Wolf says he was “pretty green” when he came to the program, and the support and guidance of the team at the newly opened Pierce Training Center have made all the difference for him. I loved how he described that, and it made me think of my own journey. I also felt pretty green returning to journalism and working outside the home after stepping away from the workforce for a decade to raise my kids. The trust, support and investment I’ve enjoyed at Insight have proved transformative for me. Check out this month’s cover story beginning on page 8 to learn why manufacturers are increasingly embracing in-house training programs and facilities as a way to invest in employees and grow their own talent.
While the issue of talent seems here to stay for the foreseeable future, so does the march of technology. The NEW Manufacturing Alliance recently released the results of an Industry 4.0 survey it completed with the help of a grant from Microsoft. Not only does the survey act as a barometer, NEWMA Director Ann Franz says it also helps raise awareness around the issue and prompts companies to begin to plan. Read MaryBeth Matzek’s feature on page 13 for analysis and key takeaways.
As you enjoy the long-awaited warm weather, you may not want to think about October just yet, but the Manufacturing First Expo & Conference on Oct. 30 offers something to look forward to. Don’t miss our two-page preview, which includes details on keynote speaker Mike Staver, author of “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards,” and a special presentation by Kohler Co. President and CEO David Kohler.