On April 13, 2018 the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce hosted their monthly Hub Huddle sponsored by Northwest Bank. The topic for discussion was the efforts Elevate Advanced Manufacturing have been spear-heading to help workforce development. Alexandra Monaghan is an Elevate program coordinator, spending her time traveling throughout the state of Iowa to spread a positive perception of the manufacturing industry. This is achieved by connecting with students (K-12th), educators of Iowa community colleges, and manufactures to help fill the skills gap in the state.
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing:
a statewide, integrated marketing campaign to promote careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing. This begins with building a positive perception of these careers while addressing misconceptions of work environment, safety, and wages.
During the event, Alexandra spoke about many different programs offered by Elevate. The Ambassador Program is an important aspect of Elevate. Iowa manufacturers have asked for additional ways in which they can engage their employees in efforts to promote manufacturing and solve the workforce shortage.
The Ambassador Program presentations to groups and/or represents Elevate at major community events in his/her region each year. Presentations may be to K-12 classrooms, teacher in-service days, parent nights, economic development groups, etc. Events might include county fairs and other places K-12 students and parents are likely to be. In some cases, Elevate will reach out to Ambassadors with opportunities but Ambassadors are also expected to find opportunities of their own (particularly to present in front of high school student or parent audiences).
During the Hub Huddle, manufacturers not only listened to Alexandra Monaghan; but also discussed amongst each other pertinent reasons for the skills gap. Four main points were discussed: the negative stigmatism of the manufacturing profession, flexible work hours that are family friendly, ownership within the company, and development of comradery/ family type environment.
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce hold these events to share information and develop the business that are stationed in and around the Quad Cities. Sign up for the next Hub Huddle!