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In Category: Talent and Training


Engaging Your Evolving Workforce: Four Steps to Propel Success

By Jamie Headley | Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center | 7/24/2019

For the first time in our nation’s history, four generations (and soon to be five) work alongside each other. Companies now find themselves trying to balance age gaps that can span upwards of 50 years between the youngest and oldest employees. What can be done so every generation of your workforce is engaged?

When hiring, it’s quite common to simply choose a candidate based solely on whether or not they have direct industry-specific “hard” skills and experience. However, transferable skills—soft skills like communication, time management, work ethic, teamwork and problem solving—are quite often what can set a candidate apart from the rest. This week on the blog, Ken Truss of ChapmanBlack discusses the importance of transferable skills, especially in today’s fast-paced market where industry sectors and technologies are constantly changing. The likelihood of finding candidates with all the skills and experience you want is slim.

10 Necessary Steps to Becoming a Digital Leader

By Brent Yax | Awecomm Technologies LLC | 2/6/2019

This week on the blog, Brent Yax of Awecomm LLC explains how becoming a digital leader doesn’t have to be mysterious. It is simply understanding the role technology can play to help advance the business, and then taking the necessary steps to get the right buy-in for successful change. With the proper foundation in place any company can be the digital leader of tomorrow. Just stay focused and stay positive.

Accessible Websites are No Longer an Option—They’re Law

By David Linabury | Element5 Digital | 1/23/2019

This week on the blog, David Linabury from Element5 Digital, discusses the requirements and benefits of website accessibility for businesses. An accessible website is one that includes certain features that create a comparable experience for all visitors, particularly for those who may have challenges experiencing the web. Most people are not aware that using the web is not an apples to apples experience for everyone.

It’s 2019. Do You Know Where Your Future Workforce Is?

By Jack Van Tiem | Kelly Services, Inc. | 1/16/2019

This week on the blog, Jack Van Tiem of Kelly Services offers insight into how companies can succeed in the future of work by leveraging their greatest asset – their current workforce.

The Social Work-Net: The ins and outs of social media vetting practices

By Randal Cole | Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC | 9/5/2018

Using social media as a mechanism for more comprehensive evaluation and assessment of employees and applicants is a fairly new phenomenon and is a complex and still-emerging area of law, presenting some tricky ethical issues and legal considerations. With that in mind, employers need to proceed with caution when it comes to social media vetting practices, and should make sure that they take the time to educate themselves about current best practices.

Both four-year degrees and trade schooling have their pros and cons, but student should be aware and educated of the options and opportunities associated to both, says guest blogger Brigitte Neumayr, business development manager at ICONMA. The proactive approach many schools and employers are taking to educate young adults in today’s market will hopefully prove to be successful in closing the skills gap.

Ensuring Workforce Readiness in the Era of Industry 4.0

By Jack Van Tiem | Kelly Services, Inc. | 7/11/2018

Step into a corporate boardroom or onto a shop floor, and you’re likely to hear the word “teamwork” uttered by leadership. Leveraging diversity of thought and skills to find smart solutions may not be a new concept, but it has increasingly become a necessary approach for employers and employees in today’s Industry 4.0-centered world. This week on the blog, Jack Van Tiem, Kelly Services' Detroit territory vice president, discusses this new generation of automation, information flow and data exchange in manufacturing and its major impact on job creation and elimination, business cost structures, processes and cultures.

What in the World? Thinking About Expatriate Benefits

By Ann Marie Olszewski | Marsh & McLennan Agency | 3/7/2018

The challenges of an overseas assignment are potentially as great as the rewards. A well-crafted international expatriate health plan can go a long way to ensuring the employee’s success while working abroad.

Promoting Skilled Trades Training and Opportunities

By Rep. Klint Kesto | R–39th Representative District | 1/31/2018

In the United States and in Michigan, the middle class is open to anyone who works hard. The middle class was built in this country by the city of Detroit, where men and women worked in industry without a degree from a university. These men and women were able to buy homes and cars and provide college funds for their own children. This was, and still is, the American Dream and it was all accomplished without a college degree.

Traffic to Automation Alley’s blog jumped by nearly 50 percent over the course of the last year, due in large part to some fantastic guest bloggers who have shared their insights into the world of tech and manufacturing. We’re thrilled to know our content is reaching you in the blogosphere and is being enjoyed by more business professionals than ever! This week, we’re looking back at our top 10 most popular posts of 2017.

Today, there is a significant shift from selling what exists to imagining what’s next. Fifty years ago, the life expectancy of a Fortune 500 firm was around 75 years. Currently, it is less than 15 years and declining rapidly. Dynamic change and a disruptive consumer-oriented market economy are fueling these changes. Today, even the largest companies risk being marginalized, commoditized or disrupted in other ways. As well-funded startups and risk-embracing players seek to challenge prevailing paradigms and alter long-standing models, innovation has become critical, not merely to growth but to survival.

How to manage and thrive through workplace stress with these resilience-building tactics

By Susan Morgan Bailey | Marsh & McLennan Agency | 9/20/2017

Summer is nearly over, a signal for many business professionals that vacation season has ended and the real work grind begins. For many, our work lives can become busy, stressful and exhausting. Whether or not your organization is expanding its focus on wellbeing, keeping the health and wellbeing of your team members and yourself top of mind is the best way to survive and find the work-life balance that works for you.

About 500,000 computer programming jobs are vacant in the U.S., and yet most American high schools don’t teach computer science. This week on the blog, Kip Fern of Microsoft Philanthropies shares how tech companies and educators are addressing this growing crisis by bringing computer science into schools through TEALS (Technology Education And Literacy in Schools), opening doors to new opportunities for high school students in Michigan and across the country.

The Looming Crisis in Manufacturing

Center for Automotive Research | 4/12/2017

The Center for Automotive Research weighs in on the manufacturing talent shortage and its risk to the industry’s ability to execute product launches. Find out what the organization has planned to help address the coming crisis in skilled trades, this week on the blog.

Why I Moved to Detroit from Silicon Valley (And You Should Too)

By Kristin Hope | PIXO Group | 3/15/2017

PIXO Group Marketing Strategist Kristin Hope shares why she picked up her career in tech and made the move from Silicon Valley to Detroit, and why this decision could be the right one for many Millennials who are “low on funds but big on dreams.”

Soaring Hire: Tips for Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

By Rick Nini | Corporate Eagle | 3/1/2017

Attracting and retaining top talent is vital to the success of all businesses, says Rick Nini, president and CEO of aviation company Corporate Eagle. And doing so takes time, energy and strategic focus. Here are his top tips for assembling – and keeping – a great team.

Six Reasons to Start a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program

By John Hindman | Tooling U-SME | 2/8/2017

Today’s successful apprenticeships blend hands-on learning with problem solving and classroom instruction, says John Hindman, learning and performance improvement leader at Tooling U-SME. Here are six reasons why starting an apprenticeship program can benefit your company.

Is Your Organization Ready to Win the War for Talent?

By Jennifer Akoma | Airfoil Group | 1/4/2017

When it comes to finding top talent, there’s no silver bullet, says Jennifer Akoma, vice president of human resources for Airfoil. But if your company can control the message that you want candidates or potential candidates to receive, you will have a leg up on the competition.

We're closing out 2016 with a look back on our top five most popular blog posts of the year.

As we near the end of 2016, we invite you to take a look back at some of the moments we were most proud of as an organization this year.

The Manufacturing Workforce: A Threatened Resource

By Jeff Krause | SME | 12/7/2016

The recent election made it more clear than ever that manufacturing remains singularly and critically important to America and our economic foundation. The noise got really loud when the topic turned to manufacturing employment. “We need jobs. We need to bring jobs back.”

That plays well to some voting blocks, writes Jeff Krause, CEO, of SME, but it isn’t acknowledging a stark reality: manufacturing jobs exist and there are huge numbers of unfilled positions. Right now. All over the country. The challenge? Any manufacturing employer could tell you: finding those with the skills and abilities to accept the rewarding, well-paid opportunities being offered.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby: The Evolution of the Job Search

By Wendy Pittman | WorkFountain | 11/16/2016

From paper resumes and red pens to the ability to connect to hundreds of resumes with the click of a button, our expectations of recruiting solutions have increased. Our patience with outdated systems has unsurprisingly worn thin. In an era of skills gaps and misalignments, hiring managers require on-demand access to talent, with the ability to place the right people in the right roles quickly. To achieve this, employers need the right tools. 

3 Ways to Attract Veterans to Michigan’s Technology Corridor

By Dave Dunckel | Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency | 11/9/2016

Every day, members of today’s U.S. Armed Forces manage, operate and repair thousands of sophisticated communications networks across the globe. Our military men and women control and command high-tech proprietary software and hardware platforms that have the potential of swift and deadly consequences if mismanaged or compromised by an adversary. Not only do our service members accomplish these difficult and sophisticated tasks without hesitation, they often do so in austere environments in treacherous terrain or in the busy, crowded streets of third-world countries.

How to develop a strong next-generation manufacturing workforce

By ​Ed Potoczak | IQMS Manufacturing ERP and MES | 10/5/2016

With most companies facing an aging workforce, the challenge of building a robust team to carry your business forward successfully can be complex.

Four Common Mistakes that Interviewers Make, and How to Avoid Them

By Jessica Tower | Plante Moran | 9/7/2016

One bad hiring decision can cost an organization in many ways. Estimates of financial impact range from 30-90% of the person’s first year salary and benefits, depending on the level of the position. So, a bad hire in a $75,000 position might cost an organization between $29,250 and $87,750 (assuming benefit costs are 30% of salary). In addition to the financial impact, an unsuccessful hire can decrease morale, damage client relationships, and increase expenses related to overtime, lost productivity, and recruiting and training a replacement employee.  

Labor Day 2016: Six Strategies for Closing the Skills Gap

By Karol Friedman | Automation Alley | 8/31/2016

As Labor Day approaches, Karol Friedman, Automation Alley’s director of strategic partnerships and talent, discusses six things to consider when searching for qualified talent to fill open positions. 

We know that manufacturers across the country are struggling to find the skilled talent they need to remain competitive. Yet, according to Automation Alley partner Tooling U-SME, 75 percent of those companies say they don’t offer a structured training program on manufacturing skills. 

School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean your tiny geniuses have to stop learning! Here are six ways to keep kids of all ages engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) this summer. 

The Right Team vs. The Team for Right Now

By Nathan Hughes | Detroit Labs | 5/25/2016

Nathan Hughes, co-founder of Detroit Labs, explains why his company ditched the resume in favor of a more inclusive and progressive hiring approach. 

We all know that STEM education is the foundation of a competitive workforce, and keeping our students excited and engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math is critical to the future of our economy, both locally and nationally.

What we learned from TTDP: Education doesn’t stop with a diploma

By Karol Friedman | Automation Alley | 5/4/2016

Today’s business climate is moving at the speed of light, and the prevailing opinion in workforce development circles is that our country’s skills gap cannot be closed unless we rethink the way we learn. This was the philosophy behind Automation Alley’s Technical Talent Development Program (TTDP).

Manufacturers Are Unprepared for Growing Skills Gap

By Jeannine Kunz | Tooling U-SME | 4/27/2016

Taking basic steps now can help you avoid not having the right – or enough – skilled workers to meet customer demands. To ensure the health of your business and the manufacturing industry, the time to act is now.

Collaboration is key to closing the manufacturing skills gap

By Karol Friedman | Automation Alley | 3/23/2016

Michigan’s workforce has time and time again proven its ability to innovate and adapt. Filling the manufacturing skills gap is no easy task, but by working together, we can get that much closer.

3 Things to Consider Regarding the Myers Briggs Type Indicator

By Kenneth Meyer | Eastern Michigan University | 3/2/2016

Personality assessments are gaining popularity in the workplace as a way to help find the best role for employees within an organization and to improve communication among teams. Many such assessments are available, but the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, is among the most popular for business.

​The Importance of Ongoing Education

By Gary Abernathy | New Horizons Computer Learning Centers | 12/2/2015

Gary Abernathy is the Executive Vice President of Sales for Livonia-based New Horizons Computer Learning Centers. This week on the blog, he discusses the importance of ongoing education for employees as technology rapidly changes. 

10 ways to attract tech talent, grow sales

By Joseph Serwach | Organik | 10/14/2015

Tech companies get in trouble when prospective new hires and customers ask, “What do you do, exactly?’’ If your answer is too hesitant or generic, too vague or too specific, their eyes quickly glaze over and a prospect quickly tunes out.

First fix the bus!

By Pavan Muzumdar | PCS Insight | 9/9/2015

Pavan Muzumdar, founder and managing director of PCS Insight, discusses why it’s important for companies to take time in hiring the right person in his latest blog post “First fix the bus!” 

​Sisters Code: Empowering Women to Explore Technology

By Marlin Page | Sisters Code | 8/19/2015

Marlin Page is the founder of Sisters Code, a global social enterprise with a mission to educate, empower, and entice women ages 25 – 85 to explore the world of coding and technology. Here she talks about why she started Sisters Code, what goes on at the “Weekend Website Warrior Experience,” and how Sister's Code gives back to the community.    

Can we 3D print talent?

By David Darbyshire | DASI Solutions | 6/24/2015

David Darbyshire, engineer and co-owner of DASI Solutions, discusses the technical skill, knowledge and methods necessary to successfully integrate and operate 3D printers for business.

Collaboration = success for area businesses

By Lee Redding | University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business | 5/20/2015

The University of Michigan-Dearborn’s College of Business is partnering with Automation Alley this summer to introduce a workshop series aimed at advancing the business skills of individuals in our workforce and helping area organizations succeed.  

​A new way to find the right talent

By Automation Alley Staff | Automation Alley | 4/15/2015

This month, we introduced a new job board to our website called the Automation Alley Talent Exchange. Powered by WorkFountain, the Talent Exchange is not your ordinary job board. It’s an innovative new system that plays matchmaker, connecting employers and job seekers based on skills, interests and job requirements.

​Matching employers with technical training and talent

By Karol Friedman | Automation Alley | 3/18/2015

We sat down with Karol Friedman, Automation Alley’s director of talent development, to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the local tech workforce today and what Automation Alley is doing to address them.

​Why employ young talent?

By Automation Alley Staff | Automation Alley | 1/21/2015

A Q&A with Automation Alley’s Ken Rogers and Kelly Kozlowski

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