Industrial Executives Forum: Retaining Top Talent and Attracting Future Workforce

April 4, 2013

Employee retention is top of mind across industry sectors.  According to Steve Racher, Plant Manager at BorgWarner, “Attracting the right people is essential to developing a great company, but implementing strategies to retain top talent is critical to staying competitive.”  The new normal for employment is just under five years. At that mark, workers often look for new opportunities that better match their abilities and satisfy career ambitions.  Consequently, management is challenged to create new opportunities for employees that ensure a stable work environment while simultaneously attempting to maximize individual skillsets and professional ambitions.  There are many factors that come into play including pay, benefits, job descriptions and the overall work environment.

On Thursday, April 18th during the Industrial Executives Forum, a panel will address stories, successes and solutions for retaining top talent and attracting your future workforce.  The panel will offer diverse approaches that will appeal to large manufacturers, small manufacturers as well as perspectives outside of the industrial sector.  “We are excited about this panel,” says Steve Sheppard, Factory Manager with Blue Ridge Metals Corp. “The message here isn’t about endorsing a single approach or philosophy but rather learning from peers and recognizing opportunities for improvement.”  The panel will create a dialogue that offers innovative strategies, retention plans, ideas for identifying prospective employees in non-traditional manners, and a greater understanding of what motivates employees.

Panel Members Include:

John Bruce, Kimberly-Clark
Since 2007, John Bruce has served as the Plant Manager for Kimberly-Clark in Hendersonville, NC. The company is a leading global consumer products company who specializes in developing and manufacturing tissue, personal care and health care products. Kimberly-Clark is consistently recognized as one of America’s top places to work.

Carolyn Coward, The Van Winkle Law Firm
Carolyn specializes in legal counsel for medical centers, government agencies and small family-owned business on a variety of general employment matters. She has experience in the development of employment and shareholder agreements and the structuring of compensation arrangements and customized health care, labor and employment practices.

Scott Darnell, Burke County Development, Inc.
President of Burke Development, Inc., the organization recently implemented RENEW, a unique, workforce development program run by BDI in partnership with local companies and Western Piedmont Community College, the 96-hour course is designed to re-tool, re-educate and re-invent the local workforce.

Bill Medlin, Legacy Paddlesports
Representative of Legacy Paddlesports a recreational boat manufacturer who, in 2012, relocated to Fletcher, NC. Following the relocation, the company commenced an aggressive hiring plan that resulted in the recruitment of over 125 workers in less than 12 months. Adopting a philosophy that the company is improved by employing a diverse workforce, Legacy has quickly become an employer of choice in the region.

HR Representative, Strategic Workplace Solutions
HR Representative from Strategic Workplace Solutions will be sharing management/leadership experiences that translate across a variety of employment sectors.

Doug Salkewicz, Advanced Technical Welding
Founder and owner of Advanced Technical Welding located in Etowah, NC. Since 1987, the company has specialized in microscopic repair welding. Doug has extensive experience in the industrial sector. In December, 2010, Advanced Technical Welding was awarded the N.C. Small Business of the Year designation by Business North Carolina Magazine, a testament to the company’s loyal employees and a commitment to quality customer service.

The forum will be held at Blue Ridge Community College’s Technology Education and Development Center from 8:30-11:00 am. Registration and coffee networking will begin at 8:30 with the program starting at 9:00.  This year’s program is brought to attendees at no cost thanks to support from HCPED Patron Members: Asheville Savings Bank, Blue Ridge Community College, Cooper Construction Company, Duke Energy, First Citizens Bank, Hunter Automotive Group, PSNC Energy and the Van Winkle Law Firm as well as Supporting Sponsor: Carolina Specialties Construction.

To RSVP, please contact Josh Hallingse at 828-692-6373 or [email protected].