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By Amy Susan, Communications Manager

From cobots, robots, to recruiting millennials, and everything in between -- we are excited to offer a lineup of workshops that arm manufacturers with workforce solutions and concepts.

When we visit with manufacturers and ask, “How can we help you succeed?”, more than often their response is, “Can you find us more people to hire?”. As we head into full-employment, filling vacant manufacturing positions is becoming harder and harder. In fact, at the end of 2018, open manufacturing jobs hit an all-time national high. For this year’s workshop series, our experts came together with other state and local business support organizations to develop informational sessions that arm manufacturers with workforce solutions and concepts. There is no quick fix to the workforce shortage issue – but together, we are thinking outside the box and facing this challenge together. Check out the Spring/Summer workshop line up! From cobots, robots, to recruiting millennials, and everything in between -- we are offering workshops that are timely and relevant to help advance Missouri manufacturing.

To help manufacturers think outside the box to address workforce challenges, we are also holding a number of other workshops throughout the state including:

Recruiting & Retaining Millennials, Part 1 & 2
With the great wave of baby boomers reaching retirement age, employers throughout the nation are struggling with ways to appeal to the new generation of workers. Millennials/Generation Y and iGen are very different. They want different things from their job – and in return, they offer a completely new set of skills to their employer. This workshop provides insight into the emerging worker persona to help manufacturers prepare for this new generation and be positioned to better attract and retain them as team members. The cost is $15 per person and a meal is included. *To attend both Part 1 & Part 2 sessions, you will need to register for each separately. Click on a 1 and Part 2 session that works for your schedule/location. Dates/Cities:

Part 1

Part 2

Lean Leadership: Developing Supervisors/Managers that Improve Retention
Workers do not quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. The session focuses on challenges companies face with employee turn-over as a result of poor leadership (i.e., supervisors and managers) and lack of understanding expectations. We will talk about how lean principles can help guide managers and supervisors to become more effective leaders and supportive problem-solvers. Manage for Daily Improvement (MDI) will also be outlined. The MDI process enables leaders to engage the employees in establishing team goals, daily expectations, and solve team problems. The cost is $15 per person and a meal is included. Dates/Cities:

An Introduction to Cobots & How They Can Fill the Workforce Gap
The hottest new technology in automation is the collaborative robot. So why are manufacturers everywhere flocking to his new product in a hurry? Come find out at our informative session on collaborative robots – or “cobots” for short. We’ll discuss how the technology came about, the different types and classifications of cobots in the market, and why they’re such an efficient and cost-effective workforce multiplier. A live demonstration will follow. As vacant manufacturing positions nationwide reach an all-time high, cobots can help manufacturers solve some of the workforce shortages. The cost is $15 per person and a meal is included. Dates/Cities:

Strategic Automation: Gaining An Edge in Manufacturing W/Robots
For any manufacturer, issues like material handling, quality assurance, and workforce dependability can be a burden. Often, the best solution for these problems is to automate – but how does one even know where to start that process? Join our educational session as we discuss how different manufacturers (who have faced these same obstacles) went through a process of identifying the problem and developing a solution. A live demonstration will follow. Learn more about the role automation and robots play in Industry 4.0. The cost is $15 per person and appetizers are included.

Dates/Cities:


How to Monopolize on Manufacturing Day to Enhance Future Recruitment
Throughout the nation, Manufacturing Day (made possible through a national partnership involving NAM and NIST MEP) continues to grow in popularity with companies opening their facility doors to parents and students in middle school, high school, and even college. If you haven’t participated in Manufacturing Day before, don’t be intimidated. At these one-hour breakfast/lunch sessions, we will join the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to provide you with a starter kit with everything you need to coordinate and execute a successful event. Additionally, we will have companies on hand to testify about their success stories and provide tips on what works and what doesn’t. Don’t miss out on another Manufacturing Day – join us in inspiring the next generation of manufacturers. These sessions include a meal and are FREE to register. Dates/Cities:

  • February 22, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Columbia REDI
  • March 26, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.. – Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce
  • April TBD – Kansas City
  • April TBD – Kirksville
  • April 18, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. – St. Louis


Four-Part Continuous Improvement Series (Value Stream Mapping, Leadership, Lean, Product Development)
This is a four-part series that will help manufacturers transform their companies by implementing a culture of Lean from top to bottom. The series includes Value Stream Mapping/5S/MDI, Lean 101 & Interactive Simulation, Lean Leadership, and Lean Product Development. ABB Motors & Mechanical Inc., the leading marketer, designer, manufacturer, and service provider of industrial electric motors, generators, and mechanical power transmission products is graciously hosting these four workshops in their St. Louis training room and will offer onsite tours of the applicable areas following each session. One course will be taught each month for four consecutive months, making it convenient, yet top of mind, for companies.

We want to thank all of our partners: St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, REDI, Ranken Tech, HTE Automation, Moberly EDC, NIST MEP, Northland Clay County EDC, Lebanon EDC, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, MAMTC, Metropolitan Community College Kansas City, St. Louis Community College.