Vice-President & COO
TSMA LEADS THE WAY
The term Silver Tsunami (for lack of a better term) refers to the “baby boomer” generation that is quickly approaching the age of retirement like a wave. While the term may not be a favorite of some, it does nonetheless illustrate the overwhelming impact that retiring baby boomers will have on our workforce. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development estimates that by the year 2024 the state will have to replace 700,000 baby boomer retirees and fill 300,000 new positions. The good news is there are numerous local organizations working hard to mitigate the impact of this trend on our local businesses and our local economy.
At the Chamber, our workforce efforts focus on these five areas: Training, Talent, Internships, Inclusion and Regulatory Issues. With manufacturing being one of the largest business sectors in Southwest Indiana, we expect our Tri-State Manufacturing Alliance (TSMA) will be heavily involved in a number of these areas over the next 12-18 months.
I am extremely excited about the leadership within TSMA and their efforts to work collaboratively in the “training” space on behalf of our entire region. The recently created “Shared Learning Program” is a TSMA/Chamber pilot collaboration launched in May, whereby TSMA members with outstanding internal training programs are now making available “open seat” opportunities to other TSMA member employees. This allows some of our top manufacturers to “share” their internal training(s) with those who otherwise may not have affordable access to these types of programs. A list of available training programs is updated monthly on the Chamber/TSMA website, and registration is quick and easy. To learn more, please visit http://swinchamber.com/tri-state-manufacturers-alliance/.
Our TSMA Q2 Event at Ivy Tech Community College-Southwest at the end of June provided several of our manufacturing partners the opportunity to educate the community about the “nuts and bolts” associated with starting internal training programs and how some of our partners have set about building partnerships with local postsecondary educational institutions that are filling their specific workforce “gaps.” The Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program was born out of a partnership between Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana and Vincennes University, and blends classroom and lab instruction with onsite experience. The newly announced partnership among five local companies – including Chamber members SABIC, Valero, Mead Johnson Nutrition and CountryMark, along with Ivy Tech Community College-Southwest – creates the Process Operations Technical Certificate, which will provide a “real world” education in various aspects of plant operations. And an update from WorkOne Southwest provided information on available training expense reimbursements available through the state’s Next Level Jobs initiative.
Continued leadership and collaboration from TSMA, regional businesses and regional higher education institutions will fuel our manufacturing sector well into the next decade, ensuring that our region of Indiana will be prepared to compete regionally, nationally and globally. At the Chamber we are thrilled to be a strong partner with the manufacturers in our region because we know that “together we thrive!”