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Economy

Northern Michigan Manufacturing Summit to help businesses navigate changing times

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The 2018 Northern Michigan Manufacturing Summit is Tuesday and this year conference organizers say the focus is on helping manufacturers deal with changing times.

Manufacturing processes continue to become more technically advanced and automated. But, manufacturing experts said capital improvements are expensive and often complicated for a business to navigate.

Rob Summers is the vice chairman of the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council. He said the summit is designed to act as a road map to help manufactures stay current.

“So, this is sort of dealing with digital and automation trends which are going on in the industry. Industry four point is a term that people use a lot for that. Also continuous improvements and process for your business. How to implement a lean culture and sustain it. And then we have session on talent development also”.

Summers said the summit will include discussions of how businesses can get involved with local schools, to help train and meet the demand for new skilled workers.

“I don’t think manufacturing is alone in having challenges with workforce and getting folks into their workforce. Service industry and there’s all sorts of industries that are having similar challenges with employment these days”.

Summers said by building bridges between schools and businesses, together they can work together to set up programs to develop the next generation of workers.

He said now is a time for growth in the industry, and he expects many northern Michigan manufacturers to implement new trends in the coming years.