Local News

March 15, 2013

Manufacturing concerns to be discussed at luncheon

There are 600,000 manufacturing jobs available today without qualified applicants available to fill them, and the number will only grow as more and more production line employees approach retirement age and leave the workforce.

But today’s advanced manufacturing plant bears little resemblance to the factories and mills of the past, and a significant skills gap exists between the needs of industry and the current workforce, said Gardner Carrick, vice president of strategic initiatives with The Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. Carrick is the guest speaker at the first Manufacturing Trends Luncheon on Wednesday, April 10, at noon at The Dalton Golf & Country Club.

“Today’s manufacturing plants require a workforce with greater skills than ever before and the resurgence of the U.S. manufacturing sector is dependent upon companies’ ability to find that workforce,” Carrick said.

Carrick will speak on “Issues and Challenges Affecting the U.S. Manufacturing Sector.” He appears courtesy of The Center for Economic Research and Entrepreneurship of Dalton State’s School of Business. The lunch program is co-sponsored by the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority, Southeast Industrial Development Association, North Georgia EMC and The Dalton State Foundation.

The Manufacturing Institute is the research and education arm of the National Association of Manufacturers. Carrick’s area of interest is education and workforce development and developing strategies to close the skills gap. He leads the Institute’s research activities including partnerships with internationally recognized consulting firms and the production of a regular series of reports on the issues impacting U.S. manufacturers. He also leads the Institute’s efforts with the U.S. military to assist transitioning personnel and is responsible for the workforce and education outreach activities in several states.

Prior to joining the Institute, he worked in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration where he served as communications director for the agency, speechwriter for assistant secretary and project director for a $325 million WIRED initiative.

“Technological innovation along with increased energy production is making U.S. manufacturers more competitive,” said Larry Johnson, interim dean at Dalton State’s School of Business. “We look forward to hearing what Mr. Carrick has to say about the state of manufacturing in the U.S. and what the implications are for our local economy.”

“Industry innovation is always at the forefront of discussion in our community,” said Brian Anderson, president and CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. “Our industry leaders will have the opportunity to listen to these trends and discuss their impact. We are pleased to be a partner on this initiative.”

The Center for Economic Research and Entrepreneurship is an outreach arm of the college’s School of Business that provides economic research and analysis to local businesses and economic developers. CERE sponsors a speaker’s series and publishes a newsletter, “Business Analytics,” which addresses topics of local economic interest. The newsletter is available on the center’s website at www.daltonstate.edu/cere.

Cost of the luncheon is $15 and pre-registration is required. To register, go to www.daltonchamber.org and click on “Events List.”

For more information about Carrick or the luncheon, contact the School of Business at (706) 272-4507.


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