George Hansel, VP of Filtrine Manufacturing Company and Mayor of Keene, put together an event in partnership with the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension (NH MEP), Keene-Area Manufacturers Consortium and Keene State College. The goal of the event was to promote the development of the manufacturing labor pool in the southwest corner of the state. The region is home to over 22 manufacturing companies who build anything from medical equipment to paper*.

Building the Pipeline: A Discussion on the Manufacturing Workforce in the Monadnock Region took place on March 15th at Keene State College in Keene. The community was invited to join Hansel, local manufacturers and state leaders for a frank discussion about the workforce challenges facing NH manufacturing firms.

The facilitator was Zengui Brahim of NH MEP. In addition to Hansel, the speakers included Melinda Treadwell, President of Keene State College, and representatives from the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA), Employment Security and Health and Human Services.

Representatives from local manufacturing companies in the Monadnock Region along with local and state agencies brainstormed ways to improve the recruiting picture.

Potential solutions discussed included workforce housing, expanded day care and building relationships within the community. State and local officials presented programs to help companies hire and retain employees such as workforce sessions for job seekers, and training existing employees and laid-off workers.

Hansel said that he hopes to hold similar events in the future.

*According the the Keene Chamber’s Manufacturing and Industry List.