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So Many Resources for Manufacturers, So Little Time by SBANE Member Patty Katsaros

So Many Resources for Manufacturers, So Little Time

Recently, I attended an SBANE Advanced Manufacturing Seminar that assembled a panel of experts to speak about work force development. The event was excellent- chalk full of useful information from people who clearly care deeply about the New England manufacturing community. Leslie Parady fromMassMEP did a fantastic job moderating and coloring the event with her experience and deep knowledge of the main issue at hand – connecting resources to those who need help whether it be a manufacturer looking to fill skilled positions or a high school student interested in a hands on career figure out his or her next step.

Overall what struck me the most about this panel were the vast resources- and I think we just scratched the surface- available to those who know where to look. There is no shortage of organizations working to help businesses of all kinds in MA. Whether or not they communicate or collaborate with each other effectively is another subject. The point is – they are out there so I thought I’d take some time to share links to some of these organizations:

MassMEP: http://massmep.org/ - MassMEP is collaborative center comprised of government, business and academic partners to provide manufacturers with the resources they need to prepare for success in today’s advanced manufacturing environment. They specifically focus on three areas – operational excellence, workforce strategies and innovative growth solutions. They offer business consulting as well as useful workshops.

MACWIC: http://www.macwic.org/ Created in 2012, the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative was created as a statewide focal point for employer-led workforce training and development initiative. This is an excellent resource if you are looking to link up directly with talent or schools who provide hands on training. Here are links to their upcoming classes and training programs.

SBANE: www.sbane.org SBANE was established to provide a legislative voice for small business at the state and federal levels and to make practical information available to help business owners grow their companies. SBANE runs diverse, educational and networking programs each year and has active chapters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The membership is characterized by a high degree of participation, reflected in a large and dynamic committee structure, addressing a range of topics from international trade to human resources.

Partnership for a Skilled Workforce: http://www.pswinc.org/ This center connects employers with prospective employees of all ages and skill levels. Initiatives include career centers around the state, young adult job assistance and healthcare training.

MassDevelopmenthttp://www.massdevelopment.com/ This organization is a quasi-state finance and development agency that works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the commonwealth. Its RAMPMA.com portal helps connect manufacturers with growth resources and it recently announced a state program to subsidize manufacturing consulting services for local companies delivered by four organizations that the state has dubbed “innovation centers.” For more info, read Peter’s Cohen’s piece from Business Telegraph.com

AMP it up! www.ampitupma.com. This program was created to help students (middle through high school) and adults (parents, guidance counselors, and other influencers) take advantage of the many great, highly skilled, well-paying manufacturing jobs available in our state. They provide schools with the resources and guidance students need for jobs in high tech processing, factory automation, product development, nanotechnology, direct digital fabrication, micro manufacturing, and other exciting fields.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC): http://www.massgcc.com/ The mission of the MGCC is to create and preserve jobs at small businesses, women and minority owned businesses, and to promote economic development in underserved, gateway municipalities and low and moderate income communities. MGCC provides a centralized resource at the state level that offers working capital, loan guarantees, and targeted technical assistance to solve specific financial and operational problems. MGCC will provide 50% of the cost of such assistance while the company is being assisted. Because they are not a regulated financial institution, they can provide innovative funding with a higher risk tolerance. For instance, their snow storm loan fund is a great recent example of what they can do (runs through May 2015)

Associated Industries of Massachusetts: www.aimnet.org AIM is a community of Massachusetts employers working together to improve the business climate and create economic opportunity by:

  • reducing the cost of health care, taxes, unemployment insurance and other business expenses;
  • shaping state and federal business regulation; and
  • ensuring a skilled and highly educated work force.

Commonwealth Corporation www.commcorp.org Across the state, they design and execute workforce programs in partnership with businesses, educators, and providers. They support the development of education and skills training that connect to real job opportunities, with sensitivity to regional economic differences. According to their website, they are known for expertise in: • Meeting the needs of workers and businesses • Nationally recognized and innovative programming • Creating multiple education and employment pathways for teens and young adults to succeed • Building the Commonwealth’s workforce development capacity

Internship Programs Here also are some internship programs across the state: Massachusetts Technology Collaborative – www.masstech.org/intern Massachusetts Life Sciences Center http://www.masslifesciences.com/programs/internship/ Massachusetts Clean Energy Center – www.masscec.com/programs/massachusetts-clean-energy-internship-program

Grant Programs to help MA businesses develop their workforce: Workforce Development Training Fund: http://www.mass.gov/lwd/employment-services/business-training-support/wtfp/

If you have any questions or would like to be connected to someone in these organizations, let me know and I’m happy to help!


patty@phkoulesconsulting.com 617-833-1808

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