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The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, in partnership with Bexar County’s Department of Economic and Community Development and Office of Criminal Justice Policy, Planning & Programs, will join four Texas manufacturers to establish a “second chance” hiring pilot program aimed at increasing opportunities in the industry for workers with criminal records.

“This program is a pioneering step toward creating a stronger workforce and doing the right thing for the people of San Antonio and the surrounding area,” said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “Second chance hiring gives businesses access to a talent pool in an often-overlooked population, and it gives more Americans a chance to pursue high-paying, rewarding careers. Forma Automotive, Vutex, Toyoda Gosei and Toyotetsu Texas will certainly be impressed by the caliber of employees they welcome into their ranks as part of this partnership. With manufacturers confronting the skills gap and needing to fill millions of positions by the end of the decade, this program is exactly the sort of initiative our industry and communities across the country need to take. The MI is proud to partner with companies to improve second chance hiring strategies, thanks to a grant from the Charles Koch Institute, and we look forward to expanding our work across the country.”

Without second chance opportunities, many in this sizable talent pool are excluded from the workforce, needlessly leaving them on the sidelines as employers search for candidates who can fill the skills gap. The pilot will begin with information sessions for the second chance population that will be led by the manufacturers and supported by Workforce Solutions Alamo. The individuals who choose to apply and then are hired by the companies will start with a week-long orientation that will give them an intro into manufacturing and provide them with the community support to ensure their ability to be successful in their new roles.

Bexar County partners bring experience supporting second chance individuals with various services, including through the county’s Reentry Council chaired by Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert, who also hosts an annual second chance hiring fair.

“Toyotetsu Texas initially began working with the justice-involved population in 2018, and we are excited to be able to support other manufacturers in our community as they embark on this journey,” said Toyotetsu Assistant Vice President of Administration Leslie Cantu. “I am confident the other industry partners involved in our second chance hiring program will see positive results, just as we have for the past four years. I encourage other companies that are experiencing hiring challenges to consider this recruitment strategy to support their business needs. I think they will find this strategy is a ‘win-win’ for all involved, and it makes good business sense to tap into this talent pool.”

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San Antonio Pilot Program Launches for “Second Chance” Workers

Webster Instrument INC

cVerisurf Software, Inc. and ScanTech (Hangzhou) Co. Ltd. have formed a solution partnership to provide comprehensive Dimensional Metrology solutions to customers worldwide.  Under the agreement, the popular Verisurf Scanning and Reverse Engineering Suite is bundled with each ScanTech 3D scanner sold. The solution bundle provides customers immediate access to high-quality scan data analysis for inspection, as well as surfacing and solid modeling for reverse engineering workflows right out of the box.

"Verisurf is proud to be selected by ScanTech to provide our software with their 3D scanners. Verisurf software is both powerful, easy to use, and built on a CAD platform. This gives customers practical options on how far they want to take a project within Verisurf – from scanned point cloud data to finished intelligent solid model with Model Based Definition (MBD) and Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), or anywhere in between. This is made possible by our commitment to hardware and software compatibility," said Ernie Husted, president & CEO of Verisurf

"This partnership with Verisurf is an exciting new development for us as it complements our high-quality scanners with powerful software that customers around the world are already using for applications ranging from aerospace to automotive, medical, and more," said Oscar Mesa, chief commercial officer of ScanTech.

"In addition to software quality and capabilities, education was a big factor in our selecting Verisurf. Whether you are just getting started with 3D scanning, inspection and reverse engineering or getting your team up to speed on specific workflows and software training, Verisurf has excellent onsite customer training, classroom options, and even a comprehensive distance learning program" added Mesa.

Verisurf and ScanTech application engineers and tech support teams are working side-by-side to demonstrate 3D measurement and reverse engineering solutions and to provide introductory training to both customers and resellers.

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Verisurf Selected by ScanTech for Solution Software

MicroRidge Systems

As manufacturers continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, the Sikich Industry Pulse: Manufacturing and Distribution also found an increase in optimism among executives. More than 80% of respondents rated their optimism on business prospects over the next six months a seven or higher on a scale of 10, an increase from the survey Sikich conducted in March.

The increase in optimism comes amid continued supply chain challenges. Just under 50% of respondents reported being impacted by the global chip shortage. At the same time, manufacturers are making changes to alleviate supply chain interruptions – 34% of respondents are manufacturing more products or components in the U.S. and 18% are sourcing purchased materials from new countries.

“The pandemic’s impact on manufacturing supply chains continues to be felt, creating challenges and opportunities,” said Jerry Murphy, partner-in-charge of Sikich’s manufacturing and distribution team. “Manufacturers should use these persistent challenges to take fresh looks at all aspects of their supply chain strategies, from raw materials and suppliers to technology solutions.”

Though a quarter of manufacturers surveyed said they are considering purchasing a competitor in the next 12 months, companies are also eyeing organic growth in the year ahead. The report found that 56% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing efforts. For example:

  • 64% of respondents are investing in website upgrades.
  • 49% of respondents are investing in social media marketing.
  • 37% of respondents are investing in search engine optimization.

“The pandemic has forced manufacturers and distributors to look beyond traditional sales channels, such as trade shows and face-to-face meetings,” said Cameron Petroff, senior managing director of The Agency at Sikich. “An embrace of digital channels can help manufacturers broaden the reach of their marketing messages, reach new customers efficiently and continue to engage existing customers.”

Manufacturers and distributors are still competing in a war for talent, according to the report. On the shop floor, companies are offering wages and benefits well over minimum wage, with more than half of survey respondents (55%) offering total compensation packages between $40,000 and $60,000. Further, 12% of respondents offer compensation packages between $60,000 and $70,000, and 10% offer packages of $70,000 or higher.

“In addition to total compensation packages, employers can offer some low or no-cost benefits to stand out further in this competitive labor market,” said Dave McKeon, managing director of Sikich’s human capital management and payroll advisory team. “Some examples include childcare referral services, vendor discounts, free company branded apparel, and low-cost supplemental programs like pet insurance or spousal life insurance.”

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While a slight majority (51%) of manufacturers encourage their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, only 2% said they require vaccinations and only 8% said they are incentivizing employees to get vaccinated, according to a new industry report from Sikich.

Source: daboost / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Manufacturers Encourage COVID-19 Vaccinations But Stop Short of Mandates, Report Finds

October 2021  |  Volume 60  |  Number 10

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