A Pilot Program for North Central PA

Enhancing your company culture by developing motivated, dedicated, loyal, and empowered employees improves communication, increases productivity, decreases waste, and lowers absenteeism. Ultimately, it positions your company to be more competitive for talent and new business. From NWIRC’s most recent work with companies in the COVID-19 Recovery Program (CRP) and talking with companies across the region, we know manufacturers are challenged with attracting and retaining employees – now more than ever before. NWIRC was recently awarded (partnering with Workforce Solutions) a mini-grant from the DCED/North Central PREP COVID-19 Recovery Initiative to focus on enhancing the manufacturing workforce in north central Pennsylvania counties, including Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter. Through this funding, a couple of programs are available at no cost to manufacturing companies in these counties.

Manufacturing Career Readiness Training

This program serves as an extension of a company’s onboarding process – by providing employees basic career readiness, communication, problem-solving skills, and motivation. New hires will develop and strengthen essential skills, become more productive sooner, and better adapt to their new work environment leading to increase job satisfaction.

A series of (4) weekly 90-minute virtual sessions are scheduled each month for manufacturing companies to enroll their new hires (or employees who need soft skills training). An employee can start attending the sessions at any point in the schedule, as there will be a continuous rolling schedule over the period of six months. The sessions are career-focused versus job-focused with the ultimate goal of helping employees successfully integrate into the company’s culture and establishing them as long-term, loyal employees. The content includes:

  1. Manufacturing 101: Terminology and concepts commonly found in the manufacturing environment (such as lean, quality management, 8 wastes, certifications, etc.)
  2. Communication and Conflict: Basic essential communications skills, dealing with conflict, and working with people who have different communication styles.
  3. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Provides an understanding of why we think the way we do and various ways to become better problem solvers.
  4. Goal Setting: Setting personal and professional goals to build a career versus showing up for a paycheck.

The virtual sessions are live and interactive, so employees will need to use a computer with internet, video camera, and audio capabilities. The instructor is NWIRC’s Employee Development Specialist, Lisa Pustelak and those completing all four sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

Photo of Manufacturing Career Readiness Training schedule
 Click to download Manufacturing Career Readiness training schedule

More information about Manufacturing Career Readiness Training, for companies in qualifying counties,
can be found at www.nwirc.org/career-readiness.

Manufacturing Company Culture Assessment

For companies interested in taking a deep dive into their company culture, Pustelak will be conducting a limited number of no-cost, confidential culture assessments with the goal of providing recommendations to improve ability to attract and retain employees. The assessment includes anonymous employee surveys, interviews, basic review of their onboarding process, and general observations of team interactions. A follow-up virtual coaching session is then planned with the designated leadership team at your company to review recommendations. Participating manufacturing companies will receive specific recommendations to enhance their onboarding and training processes for new hires and to strengthen their culture. Participating companies will be scheduled on a first serve basis. To learn more or schedule a company culture assessment, contact Tom Weible at tweible@nwirc.org.