Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Conference to address key issues in manufacturing

Conference to address key issues in manufacturing

8:29 AM, Apr. 22, 2011  | Green Bay Press Gazette 
Written by
Mark Hatzenbeller

Securing the talent needed to drive growth, competitiveness and innovation are two of the most critical issues facing today's manufacturers.

A survey of global manufacturers found that nearly 60 percent of North American firms believe the retirement of skilled workers to be their key challenge — outranking bank lending, oil prices or government regulation. In Northeastern Wisconsin, three out of 10 manufacturers are experiencing difficulty finding local talent, according to a 2011 survey from the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. The push to hire hundreds of employees at Marinette Marine Corp. and Oshkosh Corp. is sparking concerns about the availability of skilled workers in the region.

To help state manufacturers address these challenges, the 14th Annual Manufacturing Matters! conference offers high-impact strategies to attract, retain and develop skilled and motivated workers. "The Power of People: Unleashing Breakthrough Business Performance" is the theme of the May 17 conference in Milwaukee.

Morning keynote David DeLong, co-author of "The Executive Guide to High-Impact Talent Management: Powerful Tools for Leveraging a Changing Workforce," will show how executives can more effectively lead talent management initiatives at a time of unprecedented demographic and organizational changes. Top executives who fail to confront the growing competition for skilled workers and leaders are at risk of jeopardizing the viability of their businesses, and over the long term will not be able to compete effectively in a global, technology-intensive economy, DeLong says.

More than 30 prominent industry leaders and senior executives from award-winning Wisconsin manufacturing firms will share best practices and insights on talent management and other important issues.

Gordon Lane, president and chief operating officer of Chilton-based Briess Industries Inc., a leading supplier of products to the beer, food and beverage industries, will discuss the company's commitment to strategic planning, sustainability and work force excellence. Briess joins three other 2010 Manufacturer of the Year award winners who will share success strategies on a panel.

Dr. Mohit Uberoi, president and CEO of MEGTEC Systems Inc., with headquarters in De Pere, will discuss how strategic partnerships can be used to add value to customers, increase market reach and fuel profitable growth. MEGTEC is a global industrial equipment supplier to energy storage, solar, environmental, printing and other advanced materials industries.

The daylong conference also features 18 breakout sessions focusing on profitable sustainability, online marketing, business growth, financial analysis and forecasting, lean culture, finance, OSHA compliance, exporting, managing through transition and other topics.

As the manufacturing recovery continues to gain steam, talent management has never been more crucial. Companies that understand this new reality and take steps to put into place an effective strategy to recruit, develop and retain great people will build a strong foundation for growth and success.

Bus transportation is available from De Pere, Appleton, Manitowoc and Sheboygan to make the commute easier and provide additional networking time for participants.

For more information visit www.manufacturingmatters.org.

Mark Hatzenbeller of Suamico is the Northeast Wisconsin regional account manager for the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which hosts the annual Manufacturing Matters! conference.

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