Gartner Inc., a globally renowned research and advisory company, this week presented GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, two “Power of the Profession” awards, “Talent Breakthrough of the Year” and “Talent Partnership of the Year,” at the 2019 Gartner SCM Live Americas Peer Forum. GE Appliances was recognized with these awards for its work to address the challenge of reconciling the growth of manufacturing across the U.S. with a shortage of qualified candidates, particularly for entry-level and mid-skilled jobs.
Awarded annually, the Power of the Profession awards identify and recognize best practices from the most impactful and innovative supply chain initiatives. SCM World, a cross-industry supply chain community, described winners as demonstrating an ongoing commitment to delivering standout business and talent development projects.
creating systemic change
In 2014, GEA resolved to take a leadership role addressing the workforce skills gap in Greater Louisville
In 2014, GEA resolved to take a leadership role addressing the workforce skills gap in Greater Louisville. One of the region’s largest employers with 6,000 local employees, GEA worked with regional manufacturers on a multi-year initiative to create a pipeline of skilled workers for advanced manufacturing jobs.
GEA’s leadership in addressing these workforce challenges included convening the first-ever meeting of Greater Louisville manufacturers and community leaders. This group developed “A Blueprint for Bridging the Industrial Skills Gap,” a three-part plan for creating systemic change that would create a better-prepared workforce.
promoting manufacturing careers
One year later, GEA hosted the region’s first Manufacturing Summit, and participating employers and community leaders issued “The Community Playbook for Greater Louisville Manufacturing Workforce Development,” a multifaceted strategy to support the growth of advanced manufacturing in the region. GEA led many of the initiatives developed in these plans, investing in educational programs and developing new ways of promoting manufacturing careers.
This included the creation of the Greater Louisville chapter of the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (KYFAME), a work-and-learn program in which recent high school graduates are paid for 40 -hours a week, including the two days spent in community college classes and graduate after two years practically debt-free with an associate degree in manufacturing technology.
advanced manufacturing skills gap
GEA also became a prominent employer in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s SummerWorks
The company has also re-established a long-dormant apprenticeship program for incumbent workers interested in upgrading their skills and increasing their earnings. The company created GEA2DAY, a flexible workforce opportunity for high school and college students and others seeking part-time positions to work shifts on Mondays and Fridays and gain eligibility for tuition reimbursement up to $6,000 a year.
GEA also became a prominent employer in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s SummerWorks, a program providing high school students with full-time positions and training to alleviate youth unemployment. “GE Appliances was there at the beginning of Louisville’s focus on the advanced manufacturing skills gap,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The two Gartner awards are fitting recognition of its commitment to growing our region’s high-skilled workforce.”
center for advanced manufacturing
The Mayor also applauded GEA’s commitment to Louisville youth, “GEA’s participation in SummerWorks, its new GEA2Day and support of the Academies of Louisville initiative demonstrates its continued focus on helping our youth prepare for a future of college and rewarding careers.”
“Congratulations to GE Appliances on winning two Power of Profession Awards from Gartner and SCM World for Workforce Development,” said Derrick Ramsey, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary. “GE Appliances has been a leader in creating initiatives aimed at developing the skilled workforce needed for the technical challenges of the twenty-first century workplace."
"Kentucky’s goal is to become a center for advanced manufacturing, and we commend GE Appliances for its contribution to helping the Commonwealth achieve that goal.”
We are proud to have our investment and commitment to our community highlighted at the global level"
“We are proud to have our investment and commitment to our community highlighted at the global level,” said Tom Quick, GE Appliances Vice President of Human Resources, who accepted the award along with Chief Operating Officer Melanie Cook. “We recognized the skills gap is a community-wide problem – and knew it would take a community-wide effort to address it."
"These awards are an exciting recognition that GEA is at the forefront of changing the way manufacturing careers are viewed and ensuring young people are prepared for a workforce that is aligned with the continued growth of U.S. manufacturing.”
deliver outstanding breakthrough performance
The Power of the Profession awards are open to all businesses worldwide that own, operate, or manage a supply chain and deliver outstanding breakthrough performances in two key areas – the first in supply chain impact and the second in supply chain talent development. A panel of judges select the strongest initiative in each sub-category, and from those, determine the overall winners.
Last year’s Talent Breakthrough of the Year award went to Benjamin Moore while previous year’s Power of the Profession Award winners include The Hershey Company, Bayer, The Clorox Company, Hilti, and General Mills.