SOMERSET, KY – Some of the region’s manufacturing leaders are going back to school this year as a part of The Manufacturing Growth Series offered in 2022. The lessons they learn will benefit their businesses, their employees and enhance community growth.
Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp. (SKED) and its Supplier Education and Economic Development (SEED) partner Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) are hosting the training called “a mini MBA for Small Manufacturers,” beginning this month.
The series includes 12 hours of classroom instruction and 52 hours of individual coaching. Following the classroom training, participants will be expected to implement the tips and lessons they’ve learned to deliver exceptional value to their customers, under the direction of the business coach. In addition, they’ll learn new strategies on how to grow their businesses, pricing techniques, and how to sell products or services to other companies both within their cohort and others.
AKA Center Director Gregory Head says the Manufacturing Growth Series is designed to help small manufacturers align strategies to grow their businesses and connect with nearby manufacturers whose products and services could lead to contracting. Partnering with SKED enables both organizations to work with clients they’ve helped in the past and encourage the region’s businesses to look locally for sourced products and services.
“SKED and AKA have teamed up over the past few years, helping companies improve their operational efficiencies through the Appalachian Regional Commission Power Grant awarded three years ago,” Head said. “This is a great opportunity to expand that assistance through our unique partnership.”
Manufacturing leaders will be grouped into a cohort of four companies. Regional businesses represented at this initial training include Monticello Tool & Die, Wayne County, Lincoln Manufacturing Industries, Lincoln County, Crossroads Rail Services, McCreary County, and RT Welding & Fabrication, Harlan County.
The classroom training is followed by 52 hours of individualized coaching with the instructor. Learning as a cohort member provides networking opportunities and a chance to learn from companies similar to their own, Head explained.
Some of the lessons involve learning: to provide exceptional service and build a reputation for doing so; how to differentiate products or services from the competition; four strategies to grow their business; how to price products or services to win business while making money and how to sell.
This training is in response to the feedback and customized training SKED and AKA have been providing manufacturers as part of the SEED Program.
“(SKED Executive Director Brett Traver) and I have talked with many business owners, over the past few years, who had the desire to grow but were unsure of how to grow their businesses,” Head added. “This program is meant to teach participants how to grow their businesses, starting from the initial strategies through identifying opportunities and selling those opportunities to end customers.
Traver says the training is one more way to keep SKED working closely with the region’s manufacturers and provide the services the nonprofit organization offers when the companies need it most.
“The manufacturing sector is vital to southern and eastern Kentucky,” Traver said. “Our small and medium-sized manufacturers employ thousands of people putting food on the table for working families. We, here at SKED, still believe in manufacturing. That’s why this program is so important.”
For more information about what AKA does, go to https://www.advantageky.org/
To learn more about how SKED helps small business owners do business better, visit www.skedcorp.com.