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Workforce Development

Your company’s most valuable resource is its people, but with an expanding skills gap and an aging workforce you may struggle to recruit, train and retain qualified workers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. manufacturers experienced a 32.6% turnover rate in 2018 – the highest rate since 2009. The MEP National Network can help you with an extensive range of workforce resources that address all stages of the employee lifecycle including strategic talent planning, recruitment and talent acquisition, customized training for entry-level workers, leadership coaching and development, organizational culture, employee engagement and succession planning.


More and more manufacturers are turning to apprenticeships as they struggle to find and recruit the talented and skilled workers they need. Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job learning with related instruction in technical areas to produce qualified, highly productive employees for careers requiring precision skills. Registered apprenticeship programs are designed to move an apprentice from a low or no-skill entry-level position to full occupational proficiency. The MEP National Network can help you identify apprenticeship opportunities, develop customized programming and coordinate with local, state and national programs delivering a system that meets your workforce needs.

Leadership Development

You want to promote a high-performance team culture and leadership development gets you there, tailored to support various learning styles and meet the different needs of team leaders, supervisors and executive management. Leadership development offered by the MEP National Network covers all the leadership essentials your company needs such as communicating for results, developing a culture of engagement, motivating others to achieve, delegating for empowerment and managing conflict.

Skills Training

The MEP National Network offers training your employees need on basic workplace skills such as effective communication, working in teams and critical thinking, as well as basic technical skills like reading a blueprint and using common measurement tools. MEP Centers also partner with local education and economic development organizations to provide skills training for people who are new to manufacturing or to the workforce, jobseekers or those who want to update workplace skills.

Smart Talent

Manufacturers like you have lowered labor costs without layoffs, nearly eliminated employee turnover and trained new and existing employees to be proficient faster through the flexible methodology called Smart Talent. Smart Talent enables you to attract talent, engage employees and enhance training and development capabilities. The MEP National Network can help you lower costs while attracting and retaining the right employees through improved recruitment practices, expanded job postings that broaden labor pools and more effective onboarding.

Training Within Industry

Training within industry (TWI) is a dynamic program of hands-on learning and practice, teaching essential skills for supervisors and team leaders. It is an essential element of lean and continuous improvement programs. TWI includes four standardized programs that help your employees quickly adopt essential skills for job instruction, methods improvement, leading, and health and safety. Participants learn and practice the process in a confidential, low-stress and highly supportive environment. Each program is simple, straightforward and easy to implement.

SCMEP was able to come in and teach our master trainers who are now training all of the shop floor associates. The workshop is very effective and I often hear comments such as, 'this is what we have always been missing.' The associates trained learn the methods very thoroughly and is taught in a way that makes them very comfortable. 

—Paul Flaherty, Quality Manager, JTEKT Corporation
Read the Success Story

Heroes of American Manufacturing: Ace Metal Crafts Company
Heroes of American Manufacturing: Ace Metal Crafts Company
Ace Metal Crafts Company, a client of IMEC (the MEP Center in Illinois and part of the MEP National Network) was launched in 1960 by 16 sheet metal workers who invented techniques that are now standards in sanitary stainless steel fabrication. Today, their in-depth fabrication knowledge resides in their processes and people, many with 30+ years of experience, working alongside the next generation of engineers, welders, finishers/polishers and fabricators to make Ace one of the best fabricators of stainless steel components. IMEC was first contacted by Ace Metal Crafts Company to assist with their employee training program. This valuable relationship has grown to include work with safety training, manuals, policies, a sustainability program and the selection of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.



Female engineers with face masks working in laboratory

What is Workforce Innovation?

This blog is the sixth in a monthly series brought to you by the America Works initiative. As a part of the MEP National Network’s goal of supporting the growth
workforce success story on a blue background of a dart board with dart on a bullseye
workforce development infographic on a blue background of books

For more information or assistance with your workforce, please contact your local MEP Center.

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For General Information

  • MEP Headquarters
    (301) 975-5020
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 4800
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-4800
Created June 4, 2020, Updated June 16, 2020