Manufacturing companies on the rebound, looking for 'right' workers
A Rockford business that decided to stay in town despite a call from the Wisconsin Governor himself to relocate has one problem: it can't hire workers fast enough.
It's a predicament many manufacturers could find themselves in as the industry bounces back.
Komax Systems of Rockford recently moved into its new home. It is the first tenant in the Business Park at Spring Creek Lakes.
"This building is going to serve us perfectly," said Gene Haffely, President of Komax Systems. "We were looking at the orders we should fill for the end of the year, and we could probably hire another 15 engineers tomorrow and put them to work."
That is on top of the nearly two dozen workers Haffely already hired. Those positions were part of the deal to get the state tax incentives. Finding the right workers has been Haffely's biggest challenge.
"It's difficult. It's the toughest thing in the business," said Haffely. "But the people we have are all A players."
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce President recently said manufacturers have brought back two-thirds of the jobs lost during the recession.
"It's now manufacturers' jobs to re-attract those jobs back into the manufacturing sector," said Nathan Bryant with Spring Creek Development Group, the owner of the business park Komax moved into.
Byrant's firm is trying to help manufacturers re-imagine their workspace for the new technology they operate with.
"The whole support network of our economy is based off of primary jobs," said Bryant. "So the more companies like Komax and Woodward and other companies like that that can drive more jobs to our market the better health we'll have economically."
Komax is currently looking for electrical and mechanical engineers.