The Roanoker - January/February 2018 - VL57
year on the job, says the climate for
manufacturing in the valley right now
"is fantastic, especially with the focus
on career and technical education - developing the workforce for manufacturing." Recent announcements like Eldor,
Ballast Point and Deschutes also create
their own momentum says Gates.
Mike Leigh, a former GE-Salem engineer who now consults with manufacturing companies worldwide on process improvement and organizational
development, is working to create a
manufacturing alliance in the Roanoke
Valley, a support group for local companies. One goal is to find out what existing smaller firms need in order to grow
- many aren't adept at telling their own
story at times, notes Leigh.
"Manufacturers ... are typically very
independent of each other. But they
are an important part of our economy."
Workforce development is a need "that
they all have right now," adds Leigh,
"finding skilled labor to fill their positions. Most of the manufacturers I work
with right now are looking for good,
skilled talent." That might be considered
a good problem to have by many. n
2018 VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE | 57