Address Workforce Challenges

Helping Small Business Develop the Right Training Solution

Recruiting, retaining and developing a workforce is one of the greatest challenges faced by small to medium-sized Maine manufacturers. Business cannot thrive without strong and engaged employees, and many manufacturers need employees who are specially trained. Maine MEP works with manufacturers to develop workforce solutions through employee training in a number of ways.

Customized employee training solutions. We work with manufacturing clients on everything from developing training tools for entry level workers to leadership and supervisory training. Check out an example our custom leadership training solution with Ready Seafood below.

Developing trained engineers. Maine MEP supports the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the University of Maine to train engineers with the hands on skills they need to learn machining, product development, advanced manufacturing technologies and more. Check out this story of two AMC graduates working with a Maine manufacturer to solve the needs of a Health Care Organization during the pandemic.

Training incumbent workers. Working with the Maine Community College System, we help Mainers develop the skills they need to hit the ground running for entry level manufacturing jobs. This work ensures that there are qualified candidates for manufacturers and helps the Maine people find good paying jobs.

Ready Seafood – Growing Local Talent

Ready Seafood is a purveyor of one of Maine’s most iconic products, Portland’s Ready Seafood supplies live and processed lobster from our coast to retail, wholesale, and food service companies worldwide.

Workforce Challenge

Ready Seafood is experiencing rapid growth, with a recent quadrupling of plant size. While this is good news, it has also meant challenges within the organization, including a significant increase in employees new to seafood processing and a need for coaching, mentorship, and training for the new management team. The challenge was to develop leadership training on a very short timeline driven by the start of the lobstering season.

Leadership Training Solution

Maine MEP co-developed a custom curriculum which combines leadership/team building/mentorship training with Lean Kaizen (“continual improvement”) real-time problem-solving. Through the training, the team was able to develop leadership skills while working through four major challenges: 1) employee recruitment and retention, 2) downtime reduction, 3) sanitation process standardization, and 4) vendor evaluation efficiency.

“Bill from Maine MEP has completely transformed our organization. The skills he’s taught us have had an immediate impact. Team morale and team expectations jumped up. We easily doubled our core team (people that all understand the common goal).”
—Brian Skoczenski, COO, Ready Seafood

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