Good leaders need good soft skills.
That’s what a new training program for leaders in the manufacturing industry addresses.
CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a partnership between business, government and organizations to help build opportunities in the workforce in Manatee and Sarasota counties, has worked to develop these soft skills in other industries.
Its focus for the last four years, for example, was on building skills for new leaders in health care.
The Emerging Leaders manufacturing program came to be in part because of the success of the health care training program, says Mireya Eavey, chief workforce strategist for The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and CareerEdge Funders Collaborative. CareerEdge recently moved its operational functions from United Way Suncoast to the chamber.
The new program was also developed because area manufacturers approached CareerEdge asking for training for its leaders.
“What makes the program very robust is you’re bringing employees from different organizations together, and they learn from each other and there’s collaboration to help build leaders in our community,” Eavey tells Coffee Talk.
So far 50 people from 17 companies have participated in the training, held in Manatee and Sarasota counties in May.
Employers that participated included Atlantic Mold & Machining Corp., Ergotronix Inc., KHS USA Inc., Pierce Manufacturing, RND Automation & Engineering, Safran Electrical & Power, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Osprey Biotechnics, Berry Global, PGT Industries, Tervis, AlliedFlex Technologies Inc., Enzymedica Inc., Quality Enclosures Inc., Sterling Manufacturing, Adams Group and Trident Building Systems.
The training focuses on team building, communication skills and becoming a mentor and coach to employees. “It’s not an easy transition for leaders who go from peer to being the boss,” she says.
CareerEdge plans to organize another training for manufacturing leaders in the fall, and is considering programs for the insurance and construction industries.
When CareerEdge was started eight years ago, Eavey says, the climate was different. Employers didn’t band together on workforce issues. “We have watched the transition of employers coming together to help train the workforce,” she says. “They realize this is the only way. They’ve recognized the benefit of training their employees. It’s improving their retention rate.”