Spokane's Next Generation Zone is designed to prepare young adults to fill in-demand positions through workforce education and training. In an effort to prevent future skill shortages, the Next Generation Zone team has recently redesigned their teaching model to include intensive industry exploration through a course they are calling the 21st Century Career Skills Class. This two-week offering is available to all young adults at no-cost, as a way to grow the talent pipeline in Spokane County, help fulfill demand for skilled workers, increase worker mobility and wage competition, and inspire our future workforce to reach their maximum potential.
Young adults completing the 21st Century Career Skills Class are quickly realizing the benefits of the course. Deb Snortland, career specialist with the Next Generation Zone, pictured above with Sebastian Burnham, says when she met Burnham for the first time, he and his friend came in to the Next Generation Zone both wanting jobs "right away." She advised them to attend the two-week class to learn about local industries and education pathways, résumé writing, mastering the application, interviewing, budgeting, and networking.
After completing the 21st Century Career Skills Class, Burnham says he is now motivated to have a career; not just a job. In partnership with the SAWDC, the Next Generation Zone team was able to leverage a variety of grants and scholarships to assist Burnham with his career plan, which included welding training through Anvil Welding.
Now holding a 3G Welding Certification, Burnham is currently working as a fitter/welder trainee for Brooklyn Iron Works.
Spokane is home to a family-friendly international company that is working hard and giving back to the community.
HOTSTART, a 72-year-old engine heating company headquartered in Spokane, has embraced lean manufacturing which has propelled them towards an annual revenue in excess of $50 million. The company has locations in Japan and Germany, making engine heating parts for everything from generators to cargo ships.
By implementing lean manufacturing, HOTSTART has increased capacity by 30% while reducing their manufacturing space square footage by 40%. Todd Ryan, Lean Manager, said, "The way we define lean is by utilizing the ideas and creativity of our workforce to improve the processes that have made us successful." Lean manufacturing for them includes a robust teamwork model that is visual and interactive and embraces daily stand-up meetings and routine employee goal setting.
HOTSTART's CFO, Rob Goranson, stated, "Our vision is to be the world leader in engine heating and our strategic goal is to be closer to our customers worldwide." To this end, HOTSTART will continue perfecting their lean manufacturing practices and increase their workforce by 10% next year in both professional/technical and manufacturing jobs.
The SAWDC thanks HOTSTART for its commitment to workforce development, including company tours for young adults completing the 21st Century Career Skills Class through the Next Generation Zone.