11 Mar McPherson Industrial Employers Come Together to Discuss Workforce Needs
With positions in McPherson’s Industries becoming increasingly technical and a County unemployment rate registering at 3.2% for January 2016, MIDC recognizes that the need for more highly skilled, high-quality employees exists. Despite the County’s workforce needs, McPherson’s industrial employers continue to be successful. If fact, three McPherson companies have announced substantial projects in the last couple years that in total will add another 350-400 jobs to McPherson. We can’t help but wonder what their growth potential could be if they had a continuous supply of the highly skilled workforce they need to run their lines coupled with McPherson’s very competitive operating costs.
MIDC and our partners appreciate McPherson’s Industrial success as it brings great wealth to the City and County. Therefore, we want to do all that we can to help McPherson’s industries continue to be successful. Addressing McPherson’s workforce needs will take the entire community; community being business and industry, educators and economic development professionals.
Before we could attempt to work towards a solution, we needed to understand better what those needs are, so on March 1st, MIDC hosted a lunch and learn facilitated by Steve Porter, VP Workforce Development/Outreach and Dave Mullins, Director of the Business and Industry Institute with the Hutchinson Community College. The team facilitated an open discussion about McPherson area workforce needs as well as highlighted a few initiatives that could help businesses improve their recruitment and retention efforts.
Seven of McPherson’s industrial businesses participated in the discussion. Together these seven companies employee over 50% of the County’s manufacturing employees.
The McPherson Industrial Development Company hosts a monthly “lunch & learn” as a part of their industrial business retention program. The next program will be April 6th, 2016. The April event will provide attendees with an overview of BPU Energy and Rates
Tim Maier, BPU General Manager, and Mark Wurm BPU Assistant General Manager will discuss billing demand. Attendees will leave with a better understand of what this is and how it is set. Attendees will also learn about what they can do to save potentially on future utility bills. The timing of this event is appropriate as Commercial/Industrial Customers will have the opportunity (if it makes sense for their business) to apply what they learned before we enter the period in which the annual demand is set (June, July, and August).
Lunch is provided so be sure to RSVP.