The Manufacturing Alliance of Chester and Delaware Counties (MACC/DC) is a newly formed team of private and public sector partners in Chester and Delaware Counties. With a grant from the Chester County Workforce Investment Board, the Chester County Economic Development Council and the Delaware County Community College are partnering to manage the Alliance and address the needs of area manufacturing businesses. MACC/DC’s mission is to establish a strong manufacturing partnership, utilize available talent and resources to develop and advance the technical skills of the workforce, and provide opportunities for growth and increased profitability.
MACC/DC is comprised of public and private sector partners including a Chairman from Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Inc.; a Vice Chairman from CNC Manufacturing, Inc.; and representatives from R-V Industries, Inc., Penn Machine, Pepperidge Farm, DFT Inc, EF Precision Group, Omega Design Corporation, the Chester County Intermediate Unit, the Chester County WIB, the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, the Delaware County WIB, Manufactures’ Alliance of Philadelphia, DVIRC, Octorara Area School District and Strategic Early Warning Network.
MACC/DC’s first task was to survey area manufacturers in order to assess companies’ workforce and business needs. The on-line survey was sent to 86 manufacturers in the region with a 30 percent response from companies including food, rotorcraft, valves, fittings, medical devices, foam and musical instruments. The survey revealed the greatest challenges that manufacturers face in the next three to five years revolve around workforce, and impact recruiting, hiring, growth, production, and research and development.
In the next six months, companies project over 250 manufacturing job openings; in the next three to five years, that number will grow closer to 450. Topping the list of job openings across the industry are assemblers, CNC machinists, CNC programmers, and quality control technicians. With a growing number of job openings, 83 percent of manufacturers cite finding technically skilled workers as their number one recruiting and hiring challenge. Companies indicated that the technical skills most lacking are blueprint reading, understanding production (materials, scheduling and delivery), understanding electro and mechanical concepts and reading process gauges. In addition, 48 percent indicated that new hires require improved basic workplace skills such as strong work ethic, honesty, and following procedures.
77 percent of companies project growth over the next 12 months with 23 percent of companies projecting a 10 percent or higher growth rate. The companies report the top three barriers to growth are cost of salaries, benefits and health care (64 percent), finding a qualified workforce (55 percent), and acquiring capital for expansion (45 percent).
The survey data is also driving the start of an outreach campaign. MACC/DC is committed to reaching out to youth, parents, counselors and dislocated workers to inform them of the manufacturing career opportunities and of the educational paths to help them reach their career goals. By leveraging grant funding through Delaware County Community College, MACC/DC has been able to offer free print layout and measurement training to employees, with plans to offer CNC machining and welding training in the future. The survey data is also driving the start of an outreach campaign. MACC/DC is committed to reaching out to youth, parents, counselors and dislocated workers to inform them of the manufacturing career opportunities and the of educational paths to help them reach their career goals.
For additional information on joining this public/private partnership, please contact Krista Kiehl at email@example.com or visit our website at: www.cceconomicdevelopment.com.
The Chester County Economic Development Council is a private, non-profit economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region for over 50 years. The CCEDC provides proven financing solutions, cultivates workforce talent, leverages business partnerships, and fosters entrepreneurial collaboration. Together, with the support of the private and public sectors, CCEDC initiates, implements and innovates programs that improve the business community and enhance the quality of life in Chester County. For more information, visit our website, www.cceconomicdevelopment.com.
EDITORS: The following information is for immediate release. If you have any questions, please contact Krista Kiehl, Project Consultant of the Chester County Economic Development Council, at 610-458-5700 ext. 247.