Garland Manufacturers' Network
What are the goals of the program?
In 2005, the Garland Chamber of Commerce and Richland College-Garland Campus (the local community college) joined forces to provide the local manufacturing community with the best possible opportunities to grow, compete and succeed in the global marketplace. To create a seamless relationship, the Garland Chamber opened an office within the community college, allowing both groups to work side by side and coordinate everything from daily problem solving to setting long term goals.
How does the program operate?
The Garland Economic Development Partnership, made up of the city, chamber of commerce and the independent school district, dates back to 1995. The initial focus of their combined work was strengthening the workforce in anticipation of increased competition for high-skills jobs. The Dallas County Manufacturers' Association was an outgrowth of this collaboration.
The Manufacturers' Association works directly with a college liaison to provide members with an extensive array of training programs as well as access to grant-funded training. The more than 60 local manufacturers involved in the DCMA meet regularly with peer groups in targeted focus areas including Safety, Human Resources, and Quality Control. These groups provide area manufacturers with a comfortable environment to engage in strategic and relevant conversations with their peers in order to learn and share best practices, thus improving operations for local industry as a whole.
In 2013, Richland College-Garland Campus added a new resource to Association members. A curriculum was developed to launch the DCMA Leadership Academy, an innovative program to develop advanced leadership skills for area manufacturing employees in supervisory roles. To date, 11 companies have supported 63 employees' leadership development through the Association's Academy.
How is the program funded?
Working with the Dallas County Community College District and Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, the DCMA has secured approximately $4.1 million in grant funds to meet the needs of more than 30 Garland-area companies, training more than 5,000 employees to date. Grants have enabled this industry-driven partnership to leverage the ability to grow manufacturing capabilities while meeting economic and workforce objectives.
How have the partnerships expanded?
Since its creation, the Association also has grown to include partnership initiatives with the Garland Independent School District, including mentorship opportunities, a student career expo and other programs that facilitate the development of a qualified workforce and create sustainable pathways to success for Garland students.