Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coweta Development Authority programs will help local industries

By ALEX MCRAE

alex@newnan.com

The Benchmark Industry Committee of the Coweta County Development Authority is teaming up with the Development Authority and Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce the week of Nov. 7 to present programs that will help local industries become stronger and more competitive.

The initiative is called “Coweta Industry’s Journey to Excellence.”

According to one of the event organizers, Bradley Down of Cargill Co., “A group of Coweta industries are coming together to share our best practices with a goal of improving all local industries. We’ll be collaborating in a way that should share some good ideas and hopefully come up with some new ones. There should be a takeaway for everyone as a result of this program. It’s all about helping to make us all more competitive.”

The vision of the program, according to organizers, is to “Facilitate the opening of ‘Prosperity’s Front Door’ through the creation of a self-supporting network of industry and business leaders that: Routinely meet to work on common issues, actively and visibly work to learn from each other and share best practices, routinely share resources, help propel local businesses to excel in the markets they serve, create a region known for its excited and engaged workforce, and help attract and retain the ‘best’ employees to our region.”

The program’s leaders said, “Our model is to organize training and educational opportunities through scheduled and facilitated meetings on specific subjects of interest to the industry and business community.”

Four areas identified as being of most interest to the group are:

• Human Resources – People-related issues such as attracting the right skills, skills retention, skills development and general employee engagement.

• Safety – Both safety processes and compliance/ OSHA management.

• Leadership – A key to employee engagement.

• Cost Control – Continuous improvement, specific cost reduction programs, lean manufacturing and lean six sigma.

It was agreed that dealing with the “people side” of business was a topic of great interest to local industries.

Organizers noted that participating in the program costs nothing and the November program is only the beginning of an effort to leverage opportunities that exist in the local industrial community.

Those interested in more information may contact Brenda Washington, executive assistant and existing industries coordinator, at the Coweta County Development Authority. Washington’s phone is 770-304-1777. The authority website is www.developcoweta.com .

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