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Infographic: 8 Key Drivers of The Job Quality Toolkit

Multiracial workers in factory at machine control panel
Credit: iStock/kali9

Many companies are struggling to find enough employees to keep their businesses going. Today, it takes much more than offering decent pay and benefits for employers to successfully attract and retain the diverse and skilled workforce they need. A new resource, the Job Quality Toolkit provides practical guidance to companies of all types on eight key drivers that turn a routine occupation into a high-quality job – one where your employee feels respected, valued, and important to your company’s success.

The Job Quality Toolkit is deeply rooted in the Baldrige Excellence Framework. Job quality is about each worker’s overall employment experience. You can use the Job Quality Toolkit to improve the quality of the jobs you offer, increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. Taking these steps can help your company succeed in competing for the workers you need and achieve business success.

The MEP National Network™ is helping small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country implement these ideas. The infographic, 8 Key Drivers of The Job Quality Toolkit, details the eight drivers and how MEP Centers worked with their manufacturing clients to solve related challenges. These include:

Recruitment and Hiring: Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC, the Vermont MEP Center) worked with Carris Reels, an employee-owned manufacturer of custom solutions for the wire and cable industry. VMEC helped Carris create an inclusive work environment, attract and train employees, and build trust and accountability.

recruitment and hiring

Benefits: Kansas Manufacturing Solutions (the Kansas MEP Center) client Smith and Loveless, Inc. specializes in pre-engineered water and wastewater treatment and pumping systems. Kansas Manufacturing Solutions provided Smith and Loveless with the strategic guidance the company needed for a range of human resource challenges.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA): Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC, the Illinois MEP Center) client Prater Industries engineers and manufactures custom grinding and milling equipment. IMEC helped Prater find an innovative solution, placing autistic individuals in appropriate jobs fulfilling vital tasks and creating a culture where all feel valued.

Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility

Empowerment and Representation: Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP) client Atlas Roofing Corporation creates high quality roofing and construction materials. Ohio MEP helped Atlas Roofing adopt a continuous improvement strategy, which has had a positive impact on employee morale and the bottom line.

Empowerment and representation

Job Security and Working Conditions: Manufacture Nevada (previously known as Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE), the Nevada MEP Center) client U.S. Ordnance builds military small arms and NATO-sanctioned weapon systems. Manufacture Nevada helped U.S. Ordnance address potentially unsafe working conditions and improve processes. Its efforts increased morale while producing savings in energy usage and maintenance costs.

Job security and working conditions

Organizational Culture: TechHelp (Idaho MEP Center) client Western Trailers manufactures flatbeds and other trailers. TechHelp helped Western Trailers hire and retain qualified production staff by providing tailored training that helped employees learn to coach and nurture respect as a means of getting results.

Organizational culture

Pay: Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC, the Montana MEP Center) client Hi-Country Snack Foods produces traditional-recipe high quality meat snacks. MMEC helped Hi-Country implement a value stream mapping effort that resulted in the productivity and skill gains needed to support wage increases.


Skill and Career Advancement: Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) client KCR Manufacturing designs and manufactures wildland firefighting equipment for forestry professionals around the world. OMEP helped KCR develop, create, and implement a mentorship program and update training modules for existing employees.

Skill and career advancement

Download the infographic

Download the infographic, 8 Key Drivers of The Job Quality Toolkit, and learn more about the assistance MEP Centers are giving every day to help companies like yours become an employer of choice.

About the author

Katie Rapp

Katie Rapp is a writer/editor for NIST's Manufacturing Extension Partnership where she helps NIST MEP staff use plain language so their readers can understand what they write the first time they read it. Before that, she was a librarian at the NIST Research Library where she learned and wrote about many cool NIST history stories.

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