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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.

Value of Apprenticeships in Today’s World

Employers everywhere are discovering a new type of employee. They create your future workforce, lift your community, and help grow your business. We call them an apprentice. Ardagh is a huge supporter of apprenticeship programs we see it as the bridge between the new team member and the skills one must have to remain competitive in this highly competitive world. I will talk about how to set up a program, the assistance one can receive and benefits that the entire team gains by implementing an active apprenticeship program. I will focus on the impact that apprenticeship program can make in recruitment, in upskilling and how it is not an end to itself but the first stepping stone in achieving excellence in a company.

Attendees will learn:

  • Getting started in developing an apprenticeship program.
  • Related Instruction and Work Process support
  • The importance of mentorship
  • The criticality of team support.

Joseph A Schumacher

After graduating from Texas A&M, I was commissioned in the Army and spent the next 20 years in command and staff positions. In my final assignment, I was responsible for all training for the combat arms units within the NG and Reserves in the southeast to include training the NC National Guard 30th Brigade and 1/252 armor.
Upon retirement, I was recruited to lead the training effort in Anchor Glass. I have spent the last 25 years in operational leadership and training positions in manufacturing. My primary focus and passion has been upskilling individual technical skills, supervisor skills and working with leadership to optimize the strength of their team members. I have worked extensively in 15 states on apprenticeship programs, incumbent worker training, leadership improvement, change management and team improvement. I have worked with plants in North Carolina through 3 different companies.

1:45–2:45 p.m.

Weathering Covid

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 and Operations during COVID
  • Continued to Deliver Training during COVID
  • Business growth due to COVID impact to consumers
  • Leveraging Remote workers during COVID

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.

Meredith Summey – Human Resources Manager – Roxboro, NC. Meredith started managing Human Resources at the Roxboro Plant in Mid-2018 and since has helped the Roxboro location grow to 350+ employees.

Jody Blackwell with PCC

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 – Originally from Green Bay, WI, Scott 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 towboats 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.

Betsy DeCampo, Carteret Community College

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 prioritize 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.

Utilizing State Resources to Recruit and Retain

Nutrien produces and distributes over 26 million tons of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products for agricultural, industrial and feed customers worldwide. Formerly PotashCorp Aurora, Nutrien is the largest employer in Beaufort County, NC with over 800 full-time permanent employees. Ray McKeithan, the Aurora, NC facility’s Manager of Government and Public Affairs, will touch on how the company has utilized state-run programs like the Apprenticeship Program, Customized Training Program, and the Career Readiness Certification to improve their employee retention rate to over 90%.

We will cover:

  • Benefits of NC Apprenticeship.
  • Benefits of CRC and Pre-Hire Testing.
  • Benefits of Customized Training Program.
  • How all of these programs work together.

Ray McKeithan has worked with Nutrien for six years and is an experienced public and government relations executive with an extensive media background and demonstrated history of public service and engagement.