LINK Uses STTF Grant To Increase Worker Skillsets, Promote Growth
LINK Industries in Indian River, MI has been a cutting tool manufacturer in Cheboygan County for 63-years. Since 2015, Link has invested over $70,000 in facility and technology upgrades and created high-skilled jobs. In addition, they’ve committed to investing an additional $450,000 in facility upgrades and equipment. In 2016, with assistance from Michigan Works, LINK secured over $13k in Skilled Trades Training Fund awards to upgrade the skills of their employees. The planned training will enable Link’s existing and new workers to maximize use of the recently purchased equipment, to grow their customer base, and expand the company. Last year, Link began an ambitious investment and training program. This year, they continue their progress towards their goal of doubling their business and workforce in 3-5 years and creating more high-skill jobs in our region.
“LINK is very appreciative of the STTF grant and the opportunity it has provided to many of our employees,” says LINK General Manager, Jeffrey Veryser. “Employee cross-training and the flexibility it provides has been crucial to helping grow our business. Morale goes up when employees are empowered to try new things.”
The 2016 STTF award helped to pay for CNC training from North Central Michigan College, so that LINK can continue to be competitive in the global marketplace, they can continue to hire new Michigan talent, and continue their expansion. Thanks to the STTF investment, six existing employees received training and LINK was able to hire three new employees with on-the-job training (at an average starting wage of $15/hr). To keep up with current customer demands and stay in business, LINK workers must become proficient and be certified in newer skill sets. Via leveraging company funds, along with college and community funds, LINK remains committed to further invest in continued facility upgrades, employee training, and plans to add more new CNC equipment.
LINK employee, Joe Bonnard stated, “I look forward to any extra training I can get because the more I know, the more it helps my daily job.”
LINK training recipient Dave Poffenberger agrees, “I love the opportunity to learn new things that will help to advance my career at LINK.”
LINK’s investments in equipment, facilities and training not only help the company achieve its ambitious goals, but also boosts the area’s economy. In addition to investing in their company, Link invests in local education. Their outreach programs inspire young people to enter high-tech careers, they have promoted Michigan Manufacturing to K-12 students, and they have hosted Talent Tours for local high schools. Link also partners with Michigan Works to provide more jobs in our rural area, including utilizing on-the-job training programs to help them hire and train local workers. Link’s commitment to continuous improvement through employee training, equipment upgrades, and capital investment makes them a leader in the region.