Join us for our region's premier, annual manufacturing summit held during the nationally-recognized MFG Month! The Greater Berks County region celebrates manufacturing as our highest-priority industry, and shares a dedication to the industry's success with all of our neighboring partners, training providers, and employers in ten surrounding counties. Be a part of this can't-miss event! Attendees will then enjoy a half-day agenda packed a Keynote speaker, an expert panel, and a workshop with key takeaway items.
Dr. Susan Looney, President - Reading Area Community College
Jim Gerlach, President & CEO - Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Manufacturing in the Metaverse
Timothy Simpson, Ph.D. Paul Morrow Professor of Engineering Design& Manufacturing Co-Director, Penn State CIMP-3D - Penn State University
Technological advances only continue to accelerate, making it all the more challenging to keep up and stop on top of everything. In manufacturing, many argue that we are now in the 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, thanks to advances in autonomy, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), the internet of things (IoT), augment and virtual reality (AR/VR), cloud and edge computing, digital twins, etc., but most companies are struggling to understand what this means for their business. Consulting companies are pushing blockchain and their version of the future while telecoms are pushing 5G and other advanced wireless connectivity. Bitcoin and NFTs are taking the internet by storm, and everyone seems to be talking about the metaverse now too, be it Meta’s (née Facebook’s) version or some other immersive online digital environment a la the Matrix or Ready Player One’s Oasis. Using additive manufacturing as an example of the digital transformation that is occurring, I will offer my view on how these advances create synergies that will transform manufacturing, production, and supply chains as we know them. As a result, I will show how digitalization will define the 21st century similar to how industrialization shaped the 20th century.
PANEL DISCUSSION - Talent & Attraction
Alexia Pursley, Human Resources Manager - Arkema (PANEL FACILITATOR)
Heather Hillmann, Human Resources Manager - Unique Snacks
Nate Swartz ECRE, CDR, CSMR, PRC, CIR, Head of Talent Acquisition - Reading Truck
Dayana Blandon, Human Resources Manager - DAK Americas, An Alpek Polyester Business
Scott Smith, VP-Sr. HR Consultant - Herbein I Mosteller HR Consulting
We will be hosting a panel of regional manufacturing professionals who will share insights and experiences on how organizational culture plays into attracting critical talent and retaining them. In this tough talent environment with low levels of unemployment and the high rates of quitting, companies can prevail with positive talent management practices and investment in their organizational culture.
WORKSHOP - The "BIG PICTURE" of Local Wages: Analysis, Trends, & Pitfalls
Nic Thomas, Development & Consulting - GAGE Personnel
We will explore the recent explosion of wages over the past two years, as evidenced by data. GAGE’s unique perspective within the staffing industry allows us to see trends that may be used as industry or sector indicators. As we’re all forced to navigate a disrupted talent market, it is imperative that we arm ourselves with the best data we have available, in order to act swiftly and accurately. If we do not take action, or ignore the signs, our “talent attraction” issue may quickly become our “talent retention” problem!
WORKSHOP - PA Playbook for Manufacturing Competitiveness
Karen Norheim, President & CEO - American Crane Equipment
Dan Fogarty, COO - Berks County Workforce Development Board
This presentation will provide a brief overview of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook, which was recently released by the PA Manufacturing Advisory Council. This report identifies three game changers and ten related recommendations to turn around Pennsylvania’s economic performance in manufacturing.
------------------------------------------- Thank you to our sponsors!