FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2021
The 19th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit was held virtually on Friday, October 22 with 156 attendees. Mike Mastergeorge, VP of Brazonics, opened the event and introduced Governor Chris Sununu’s video address highlighting the importance of the manufacturing sector to New Hampshire’s economy. Zenagui Brahim, President of NH MEP gave an update on Manufacturing Month and the success of the virtual manufacturing tour presentations given to students from different middle and high schools across New Hampshire. After the morning session, attendees moved on to attend their choice of workshops.
Workshop A – “Hiring and Retention in a Post COVID World” featured panelists Peter Richard, General Manager of XMA Corporation, Tom Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Operations at Sturm, Ruger and Co. and Daniel Mills, Retired President & CEO of PSI Molded Plastics. The speakers discussed approaches to COVID safety at work including revised workstations, vaccine incentives and extended PTO for COVID illness. They stressed the reality of the employee “buyer’s market” and the necessity for manufacturers to adapt their recruiting and sustainability processes to become an employer of choice. Common recommendations to improve workforce development included offering flexibility to work remotely or a hybrid schedule, competitive benefits, upskilling, and advancement opportunities. Leadership that is focused on employee mental health, empathy, positive work relationships, diversity, equity and inclusiveness has also become a critical priority for potential candidates. Recruiting strategies include social media, community interaction through job fairs and partnering with education systems for internships. Finding new talent also means expanding beyond traditional sources to utilize veteran’s and disabilities services, drug rehabilitation centers and prison reform services. The resounding message was more interaction with the community results in better quality candidates, changes the stigma of manufacturing jobs and leads to positive responses on social media channels.
Workshop B – “DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Discussion: Cyber/Physical Resources for the Critical Manufacturing Sector” featured panelists Jason Climer, Protective Security Advisor with US Dept. of Homeland Security: Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Rick Rossi, NH Cybersecurity Advisor (CISA) and Scott Mellor, Senior Chemical Security Inspector (CISA). They gave a content-rich presentation on how to implement basic cybersecurity hygiene as well as explained a variety of federal Cybersecurity programs and resources that are available, most at no or low cost. The workshop also explained Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), which industries they apply to along with their specific cybersecurity requirements.
Workshop C: “Getting Small Manufacturers to Adopt Industry 4.0” was presented by Michael O’Donnell, Vice President of Operations, MAGNET, part of the Ohio Manufacturing Excellence Center (MEP). Their goal is to make Industry 4.0 more accessible to small to medium sized manufacturers by enabling innovation, inspiring with experience and stories, and building a connected supplier support system. Four segments of manufacturing have potential Industry 4.0 applications – Operations Optimization, Predictive Maintenance, Inventory Optimization and Health & Safety. Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) plays a key role in advancing manufacturers into smart facilities that automate machine processes while analyzing and outputting relevant data. Their impact makes every department of the organization more efficient and productive with higher quality results. MEP centers in each state are qualified to guide manufacturing organizations through the challenges of navigating Industry 4.0 decisions by specifying cost effective solutions, help with lease vs. purchase decisions, selecting the right pre-vetted vendors, and project management that delivers ROI.
Workshop D – “Stay Safe, Stay Strong, and Stay Open” presenter Darcy Cook, CSHO, SHS and PTA with Cook Professional Resources discussed how Covid-19 has impacted the manufacturing sector and what needs to be done to stay safe. A big topic was the presenter’s view of Covid-19 Hierarchy of Controls and how this system is used to deploy effective controls within the organization. Each topic of the inverted pyramid was discussed in details identifying the best practices and providing the why behind each topic.
About NH MEP
NH MEP is the premiere resource, consulting and training partner for small- to medium-sized manufacturers in New Hampshire. To learn more about our services and programs, browse nhmep.org, contact us at (603) 226-3200 or email Training Coordinator Jill Duddy at email@example.com.
The NH MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP system is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information please visit www.nhmep.org or call 603-226-3200.