Northern Colorado Manufacturing Partnership Makes Impact

Sep 29, 2014 | Chamber News

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. manufacturing sector has turned a corner. For the first time in over 10 years, output and employment are growing steadily. Manufacturing output has grown 38 percent since the end of the recession, and the sector accounts for 19 percent of the rise in real gross domestic product (GDP) since then. Through May, the sector has added 646,000 jobs, and manufacturers are actively recruiting to fill another 243,000 positions.

The NoCO Manufacturing Partnership is celebrating this success and more during Manufacturing Week, September 29 to October 4. The group of more than 50 northern Colorado manufacturing companies and 20 public partners, including the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, established the Manufacturing Partnership in 2013 to address common issues in the industry.

The partnership has identified three key areas for collaboration: networking and local supply chain issues, changing the perception of the industry and developing vocational/technical skills as a career pathway for youth and adults in transition. The partnership has private and public partners working together to address the key areas. Their mission statement is: “Partners working passionately to ensure Northern Colorado Manufacturers and our Communities thrive.”

Paul Harter, President/CEOf Aqua Hot Heating Systems, Inc., is serving as the private industry coordinator for the partnership.

“In the past year the NoCo Manufacturing Partnership has demonstrated the power of public and private entities working together. We’ve already had great success in reaching out to students, working with educators, and becoming better connected as an industry,” said Harter.

The partnership has hosted industry “In-Site Tours” at Whip Mix, Woodward and New Belgium Brewing with a tour planned at Aqua Hot Heating Systems in October. As well, the partnership hosted plant tours for high school students in April with the plans of continuing to provide hands-on, interactive opportunities for students to learn about manufacturing as a career.

“The time I’ve put into this partnership over the last year has already paid me back ten times over,” said Harter.

The partnership has provided a tremendous opportunity for individual companies to share resources and as they promote manufacturing throughout the region. And according to Harter, they have already been successful. “No dues, no politics, just professional men and women working together to advance a vital part of our economy and way of life – that’s the NoCo Manufacturing Partnership.”

To learn more about the partnership, contact Lynn Vosler, Director of Workforce Development at Front Range Community College, at [email protected].