LIMA — It will take a community to help keep the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center on top of its future game.
Wednesday, the newly hired consulting firm, Future iQ Partners, met with area stakeholders for JSMC to outline the plan to create a workforce-development and skill-retention plan for the facility.
If production at JSMC were to be scaled back any further, stakeholders with the manufacturer want to ensure the workers can maintain an adequate skill level.
Tuesday, the Allen County commissioners approved a resolution to enter into a contract with the consulting firm to create a workforce-development and skill-retention plan for the facility.
Jeffrey Sachse, economic specialist for Future iQ, said the goal for the firm is to help guide productive conversation, but not to shape it.
“The result of this process is going to be very heavily driven by Task Force Lima and the other stakeholders in the region,” he said. “The recommendations that are going to come out of this are certainly going to have a local voice.”
The consulting firm plans to gather enough information to create the plan in a four-month period, visiting Lima and Allen County roughly once each month. Sachse plans to meet with members of Task Force Lima on Thursday.
Thursday, project manager Denis Glenn will present to Task Force Lima the idea of a subcommittee that will manage the internal processes during the four-month period.
“This initial visit was prompted both by the timing of the Task Force Lima meeting [Thursday] and our desire to get into the region quickly,” Sachse said.
Two sets of surveys will be given to the community leaders to organize a uniform perspective of where JSMC’s strengths and weaknesses are, Sachse said.
On April 13, a two-day workshop will be held to look at “future scenarios” and “future opportunities” to help the stakeholders use the local talent and resources to help JSMC.
If there were to be a large increase in contracts with JSMC in the future, Sachse wants to help the community be prepared for that increase in labor.