Talent Pipeline Manufacturing Summit Spotlights CTE programs and Manufacturing Industry Educational Needs

Seguin, Texas- Great solutions often start with great discussions. Problems openly lead to ideas, which lead to plans and then to actions.

That is the intent behind the Talent Pipeline Manufacturing Summit, a joint effort that the Seguin Chamber of Commerce, the Seguin Economic Development Corporation, the Central Texas Technology Center and the Texas Workforce Commission organized. These sessions have brought together an array of community partners who explored what the city’s manufacturing economy needs to thrive, grow, and continue to provide jobs.

“It is an exciting time to live and work in Seguin. The extraordinary partnerships between city, county, schools, businesses, and individuals are truly creating a synergy that is moving this community forward.The Manufacturing Summit and the Talent Pipeline Project are a great example of what can be done when people work together. We are making great strides in improving the communication lines between businesses, education, and community. The desired result is to develop and keep our local talent plugged into the jobs that we have available right here.” Kendy Gravett, President of the Seguin Area Chamber of Commerce.

On August 10, 2017 from 11 AM to 1PM, nearly 50 representatives from the manufacturing and education sectors came together again to discuss our regional workforce needs and to see how we can work together to build a stronger employee pipeline within the region. In addition to the discussion on workforce, the event also provided attendees with information on our local Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs available through Navarro ISD and Seguin ISD, information on the Alamo Academies offered at the Central Texas Technology Center and highlighted a collaborative success story between CMC Steel Texas and Navarro ISD. Lunch was provided by our partners at GVEC.   

The recurring theme during the pipeline discussion is not an easy problem to solve. The parents of today’s teenagers – the future generation of workers – still tend to believe the old clichés of manufacturing floors being grimy, hot, and dangerous. While that can be true for some, it is not true for all of the manufacturers that are operating in Seguin. Few of those parents, let alone their kids, have never seen a modern, advanced manufacturing facility where workers are more likely to work on computers or alongside robots.

There are more than 50 manufacturing companies in Seguin, Texas. The household-name companies such as Caterpillar and Continental employ thousands, but the vast majority of manufacturers are much smaller. These smaller companies manufacture metal roofing components, gears and gear shafts, resealable plastic bags, private labeled bottled water, oilfield storage tanks, reinforced concrete pipe, and just about anything else you can imagine.

The manufacturing industry is struggling to find the workers it needs – this is a problem not only being faced here in Seguin but across the country. From entry-level production technicians to highly credentialed engineers, manufacturers are having a hard time filling their talent pipelines.

For manufacturing to continue to provide good-paying careers and economic vitality to Seguin, we’ll need ongoing, active participation and ideas from our businesses and our education system to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.

“Manufacturing has been an essential component to Seguin’s economy since the town was incorporated back in 1838.” Said Josh Schneuker, Director of Economic Development for the City of Seguin. “Despite the challenges highlighted in our Talent Pipeline Manufacturing Summit, we are confident that through these continued collaborative efforts, we can make positive strides in improving our regional workforce needs. This will help ensure that manufacturing will continue to be the cornerstone of the Seguin economy for many more centuries to come.”

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