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Workforce Excellence

Best practices and strategies for recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce.

Workforce Excellence

Leadership and Culture

Operational Excellence

Technology, Innovation and Strategic Growth

Day 1 Track Sessions

10:45–11:45 a.m.

The Value of Today’s Apprenticeships

Michael Taylor, Mentor Apprenticeship Program and ML Trainer, Buhler Inc.

This session will discuss how apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential.” Apprenticeships have long been known to address skills gaps by providing an earn-while-you-learn model that pushes doors to opportunities wide open and allows people to earn a salary while learning the practical skills required to do a job. I will review the benefits of apprenticeship programs and how ROI can be measured.

Michael Taylor graduated from Wake Tech Community College with a 2yr degree in Industrial Plant Maintenance. This degree was made up of electrical, plumbing, welding and hydraulics, pneumatics and small business. Michael has a strong background in welding and fitting and has worked for Buhler for 20 years.  In 2008 he was promoted into the role of Outsource Project Manager. Michael was tasked at the beginning of 2014 with setting up and running the apprenticeship program at Buhler Raleigh.  Buhler Raleigh now has 7 apprentices in their program.  Buhler Group has over 600 apprentices worldwide.    

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Sustaining Growth & Leadership Culture through Covid

Ryan Zimmerman, Director of Human Resources

POLYWOOD was deemed an essential manufacturer and expanded operations in Roxboro NC during the peak of COVID. We continued to work with PCC during this process to deliver training to our employees through virtual methods. We would like to share our success in partnering with PCC and how we have weathered and expanded during COVID.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Expanding business during COVID and Impacts of COVID on current business.
  • How to quickly recruit top talent in a HOT labor market.
  • Leveraging Career Growth in your organization to retain employees.
  • Creating a robust Leader Development program in a high-growth organization.

Ryan Zimmerman – Corporate Director of Human Resources with 20+ years of HR experience. Ryan joined POLYWOOD in 2015 and has helped the company grow its employee base from just under 200 to over 1100 company-wide across 2 main locations.

3:00–4:00 p.m.

People + Performance +Philanthropy = Workforce Excellence

Parker Offshore builds premium offshore and inshore fishing boats in Beaufort, NC. As a subsidiary of Correct Craft, Parker delivers a lifetime of enjoyment and rugged fish-ability focusing on strength, simplicity, and seaworthiness. The company has built a reputation for excellence in workforce development through its founding culture pyramid – People, Performance, and Philanthropy. The pyramid reflects all that is important to the company and is the basis for their philosophy of “Making Life Better.” The company strives to achieve their mission to make life better for all they come in contact with – customers, employees and their families, dealers, vendors, strategic partners and people around the world they may only meet once. Parker does this by investing in their employees by providing a positive work culture to produce great products where performance and philanthropy are a part of everyday life. In turn, the employees have embraced the culture by wanting to be a part of a higher mission. The company prioritizes cultivating internal workforce development opportunities coupled with those offered by the local community college’s customized training program to build a strong team of dedicated, talented employees.

From this presentation attendees will hear about:

  • The opportunities afforded to Parker employees by Correct Craft’s internal training program coupled with customized training classes offered by Carteret Community College.
  • Parker’s philosophy of investing in their employees and how that mission has been instrumental in securing them a position as a top performer in the world of sportfishing boat manufacturers.
  • The culture of philanthropy which has resulted in a positive work environment with dedicated employees and success in making the local community and the world a better place.

Scott Bauer has spent the last 25+ years in the marine industry holding various positions in management and has always been very focused on dealer relationships. Scott began his career in the marine business in the early 90s with the OMC corporation’s aluminum boat group as a regional sales manager. Scott spent 17 years at Tracker Marine with several positions of responsibility including: regional sales manager, national sales manager, customer service manager and was the Vice President of Sales and Service for the last 5 years of his tenure. During that time, Tracker substantially grew their top line revenue and market share. Scott joined Correct Craft in 2016 as the Vice President of Sales and Service for Nautique Boat Company, a manufacturer of premium tow boats located in Orlando, FL. The Nautique team grew top line revenue significantly during Scott’s tenure. In November of 2020, Correct Craft named Scott president of Parker Offshore, a manufacturer of premium saltwater fishing boats located in Beaufort, NC.

Day 2 Track Sessions

9:00-10:00 a.m.

You Run a Healthcare Business Whether You Like it or Not – How to Take Back Control of Your Health Plan

The rise in employer sponsored health plan premiums and deductibles have significantly outpaced middle income Americans’ wage growth over the past 15 years. Primarily because the financial incentives built into our healthcare financing system is working as designed, which benefits large insurance carriers and hospital systems, but rarely employers or patients. When you create a health plan where incentives are aligned with employers and patients, employees access care through high value health care providers, outcomes improve, and costs are reduced. To create the proper alignment of incentives requires working with independent, transparent partners, which further reduces waste, bureaucracy, and cost.

So much of the healthcare industry is shrouded in secrecy with opaque systems. Has your insurance broker ever said, “the carrier proposed a 17% renewal, but we negotiated it down to 9%?” We have got to stop thinking that a less-bad renewal is acceptable. It’s time to take back control of your health care spending.

Attendees will learn:

  • Learn how health plan incentives are misaligned in favor of insurance carriers and large hospital systems
  • Learn how properly aligned incentives can reduce cost and improve health outcomes
  • Explore pharmacy supply chain management techniques that reduce waste, bureaucracy, and cost
  • Learn the Best Practices of a high-performance health plan – one that reduces employer and employee cost when high value care is delivered

Bryan Bickley is an employee benefits advisor with more than 20 years’ experience designing and implementing employee benefit programs that support strategic business goals for mid-size employers and entrepreneurial, rapidly growing, companies. His data-driven and consultative approach prioritizes a culture of health accountability in his client organizations. By virtue of his Health Rosetta certification, Bryan designs employer health plans that reduce waste and bureaucracy leading to lower cost and better outcomes.

Dan Nifong applies intentional, strategic, values-based leadership to business and to growing a team. For the past four years Dan lead operations at Arcadia Beverage in Asheville, NC, where he navigated organizational restructuring to embrace a limited hierarchy, decentralized, self-managed philosophy. Prior to his time at Arcadia, Dan spent six years in Private Equity where he gained extensive experience finance and operations of operating companies. Dan is a North Carolina native where he graduated from NC State with a degree in Business Administration concentrating on Finance and Accounting.

10:30–11:30 a.m.

Automating Undesirable Tasks to Combat Rising Labor Shortages

Lynn Crump, President-Cross Automation, Cross Company

Lynn Crump is the president of Cross Automation, a division of Cross Company. Lynn leads a team of associates that are manufacturing automation experts that develop automated solutions for repeat machine builders and manufacturing companies automating manual processes. Lynn, a graduate of UNCC, started his career in manufacturing, where he was a regional manufacturing manager and was responsible for the development and implementation of several automation projects. In 1998, Lynn decided to leave manufacturing and join one of his valued suppliers, Cross Automation as a technical sales specialist where he was able to utilize his manufacturing experience to assist his customers with successful automation projects. In 2017 Lynn was promoted to the president of Cross Automation. Since becoming president of Cross Automation, Lynn has focused his team on listening to customers and delivering world-class customer service. As a result, Cross Automation has now not only a high-tech distributor of automaton components, they are now a recognized leader for complete integrated solutions to automate manual processes.