After repeatedly hearing area manufacturers indicate the urgent need for employees with Computer Numeric Control (CNC) skills, the NLEA was anxious to find a solution. Manufacturers as a group said they could hire 200 additional employees right away, if they could find individuals with CNC skills and many jobs were going unfilled.
Northern Lakes Economic Alliance has lead efforts to assemble a group of our top business, educational, community and government leaders to develop a plan to bring a resource like a CNC Mobile Lab to our region. This group became the Manufacturing Advisory Team and has been a fantastic example of what can be accomplished when a collaborative approach is taken to find a solution to a challenge.
The success of the FAB LAB will be measured by how well we provide the skills needed by our manufacturers, how many students are trained and result in high-paying manufacturing jobs and finally how much the manufacturing industry expands in our four county region. High school students from Pellston, East Jordan and Central Lake are poised to take classes in the FAB LAB as well as on-site training scheduled for employees at Precision Edge, Moeller Aerospace and EJ. Additionally, the FAB LAB will showcase modern manufacturing to students, parents, communities and visitors with appearances at a variety of events.