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Business INSIGHTS e-News for Manufacturers

About the Author

Chuck Hadden

President and CEO
Michigan Manufacturers Association

  • Named President and CEO on September 15, 2008
  • 15+ years of experience with the nearly 3,000-member MMA; previously public policy officer and lead lobbyist representing manufacturers before the legislature and state agencies on a broad range of issues, including taxation, product liability, employment and insurance; instrumental in obtaining passage of legislation, including restructuring of Michigan's tax and energy policies, that will benefit the manufacturing sector for years to come
  • Certified Association Executive (CAE), American Society of Association Executives, 2004; Finance for Executives Program, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2009
  • Graduate of Alma College, coursework in Administrative and Organizational Behavior with Central Michigan University's Master of Arts Program

Manufacturing Innovation Drives Solution for Talent Crisis

by Chuck Hadden
Michigan Manufacturers Association

Behind every great idea, every great new product or process, is a person who is thinking outside of the box - seeing things differently and wondering "what if" in such a way that he or she discovers the possibilities others have missed. Nobody has more creative thinkers than manufacturers. Innovation is, and always has been, at the core of this extraordinary industry. Innovation drives the manufacturing resurgence in Michigan and across the nation, and will help manufacturers address their most pressing challenge: the talent crisis.

Manufacturers know that in the competitive world marketplace, they must focus on demand, building products the world wants and needs, and building them better than anyone else. During the recession, the "If we build it, they will buy it" philosophy became obsolete. Yet manufacturers have continued to rely on a vocational training system that operates under this false assumption, creating a mismatch between the skills being taught and those needed by the companies looking to hire. This mismatch has created a serious threat to our ability to compete successfully in the global economy. Fortunately, the answer lies with the manufacturers themselves, and they are rising to the challenge.

With MMA leading the charge, industry leaders across Michigan are coming together to build a statewide network of workforce development partnerships to address the talent issue one community at a time. Partnerships with community colleges, workforce development agencies and local training providers enable manufacturers to "grow" the workers they need by pumping motivated individuals into training programs that provide needed skills and to "train up" their current workers. Future workers get the skills they need to land top manufacturing jobs, current workers get a career boost, and manufacturers get the skilled workers they need to produce the products that the world wants.

When manufacturers prosper, so does the economy. It's a win-win for all.

For more information on MMA's Talent Crisis initiatives and workforce development partnerships, visit the MMA website:

Michigan Manufacturers Association 
The Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) is the state's leading advocate exclusively devoted to promoting and maintaining a business climate favorable to industry. MMA's goal is to make it possible for Michigan manufacturers to compete successfully in the national and international marketplaces.

Through effective representation of its membership before the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government on issues of importance to the manufacturing community, MMA works to foster a strong and expanding manufacturing base in Michigan. For more information, visit or call Amy Schirado, MMA Vice President of Communications and Marketing, at 517-487-8513.

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