Industry looks to CSCC
Jan 14, 2013 | 535 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As new manufacturers consider setting up shop in Bradley County, and existing ones look to a slowly recovering economy for growth opportunities, the two groups will share a need.

We speak of a qualified workforce, one whose applicants not only can do the job physically but who are trainable, who are adept at learning evolving techniques and who can do it quickly.

Another important task will be for employers to best identify job hopefuls using proven tools whose reliability, relevance and fairness are unconditional.

A longtime partner to Southeast Tennessee manufacturing — Cleveland State Community College — is again stepping up to play a major role to help satisfy these workforce and applicant evaluation needs.

On Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m., CSCC will display its new manufacturing workforce solutions. Special guests will be all manufacturing skills stakeholders in the area who can benefit from this new personnel evaluation technology.

It is being brought to Cleveland through the vision of an administrator whose job it is to understand a community’s job skills needs and to activate a plan for satisfying each.

Rick Creasy, CSCC director of Workforce Development, came to Cleveland to help devise a strategy for addressing industrial skills shortages. On Jan. 16, he will introduce programming at the local college that was developed by Scientific Management Techniques, or SMT, that already are improving employment and manufacturing performance in the Memphis area.

During the three-hour event, CSCC will have on display four types of manufacturing skills assessments whose strong track record is expected to provide a similar influence for local employers. These include evaluation tools for mechanical skills, electrical skills, PLC (programmable logic controller) skills and CNC (computer numerical control) skills.

SMT President Stephen Berry will be on hand to demonstrate how each machine functions, discuss the assessment methodology and describe how the assessment scores are used to predict workforce performance.

The ability to identify and measure an applicant’s skills in the hiring process is the single-most effective tool at attaining quality hires among manufacturing candidates. That’s because the ability to gauge workforce hopefuls — accurately — in the hiring process will go a long way in predicting workforce performance.

Such reliable hiring is more efficient, it lowers an employer’s risk and it drastically lessens the cost of orientation and training because candidates have already shown adeptness through their SMT assessments.

These evaluation tools are not exclusive to a new-hire program. Some organizations have assessed their existing workforces in order to design, develop and implement targeted training based on assessment data.

It is expected local manufacturers will take advantage of Wednesday’s unique offering at CSCC because the assessment curriculum has been developed by — and for — industrial operations professionals.

It is no mystery.

Manufacturers will build new homes and expanded facilities in communities that can provide a quality workforce with proven skills — especially in a time when some believe industrial worker shortages are at a critical low.

Industrial leaders and other employers whose worksites can benefit from this cutting edge workforce assessment tool should plan to visit Cleveland State on Wednesday. Those with questions, or who would like to reserve a seat for the function, should contact Creasy at CSCC at 423-614-8763 or send an e-mail to

In today’s changing workforce, and in a time when employer needs evolve by the day, those who can best assess worker skills quickly, accurately and cost-effectively will enjoy a noticeable edge on their competitors.