Case Study: Manufacturing-Works Wyoming Industry Partnership

Meeting the Needs of the Manufacturing Industry

While the Wyoming manufacturing industry employs fewer than 20,000 people in the state, it is a small but vibrant sector. Sensing that the sector lacked a shared avenue for addressing needs and articulating issues and solutions with one voice, a manufacturing focused nonprofit with national ties decided in 2010 to convene private employers and other stakeholders to create such a forum, particularly related to the industry’s well documented skills gap.

The resulting Manufacturing-Works Industry Partnership (M-W) is designed to meet the needs of manufacturers in Wyoming. Seeded with an initial planning grant funding by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in 2010, the partnership’s long term goal is to create a statewide association to represent the industry (none such association exists now). The planning grant’s purpose is to accurately determine the core issues facing the industry, engage employers and relevant partners, and set the stage for implementation of agreed upon solutions. The statewide association represents the body that will enable those solutions. The statewide association - to be known as Manufacturing Solutions Network- has developed a mission statement outlined below:

Mission statement
Manufacturing Solutions Network (MSN) is an organization of manufacturers partnering with education, training and economic development entities to grow and sustain manufacturing in Wyoming.

A detailed profile of the partnership and its activities is available here. This powerpoint presentation also describes the partnership and the evolution of the Manufacturing Solutions Network.

Additional Related Materials

Award Dinners: As part of its employer engagement strategy, M-W launched a series of award dinners. The 20/20 Clear Vision award celebrates organizations that show a commitment to a 20% reduction in costs and/or a 20% gain in growth. These events were part of a creative two-fold strategy for identifying employer's needs: 1) create excitement for the idea of an industry partnership by showcasing local manufacturer’s success at awards dinners and 2) create a forum for dialogue about shared industry and workforce needs which took place at those dinners. The first part of the strategy created the pull to get employers together which then fulfilled the second goal. The following links include agendas, pictures and other materials from these events: Casper, Riverton, and Sheridan.

Employer Survey: In Spring of 2011 M-W launched an employer survey to identify training and skill needs of employers. A copy of the survey instrument is available for download, results have not yet been compiled.

Proposal: The industry partnership received a planning grant from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in 2010. Here is their original proposal which led to the funding.