November 3 - Dr. Bob Lorinser a Marquette County doctor is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democratic congressional candidate for Michigan’s 1st District. Dr. Lorinser made a stop in Graying with family members and guests to visit the Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium office and tour Springs Window Fashions, a wood manufacturing plant. Michigan Works! staff Christine Southwell, Career Navigator and Alayne Hansen, Business Solutions Professional showed Dr. Lorinser and his guests around the office and talked about the programs and services the agency provides. “Michigan Works! is getting the district back to work, connecting employers to eligible candidates and providing job seekers the resources they need to restart their careers. Organizations like this — that provide résumé workshops, GED services, vocational training and help people navigate Clean Slate programs — keep Northern Michigan and the U.P. employed. It's time to recharge the economy, and it starts at human resources” – Dr. Bob Lorinser
Following the visit at Michigan Works! the group went down the road to tour Springs Window Fashions led by Human Resource Manager John Metts. John spoke candidly about the struggles the company has had with hiring employees and retaining them. Currently they are running with 50 employees which is down from the 82 they need for full production. “Our tagline is the Best Experience Company. And it’s more than just a set of words—it represents the essence of who we are. As North America’s premier window covering company, we’re committed to creating the Best Experience for our associates and team members, our consumers and end users, and our channel and business partners” – John Metts, HR Manager John said he has an aging workforce and needs more employees to prepare for future retirements. Tour guest were able to see the large quantify of wood it takes to manufacture wood blinds per week. With staffing shortages their employees often work over time hours to meet production schedules.
Springs Window Fashions hosts several tours for folks interested in the manufacturing industry and is a supporter of Manufacturing Month student tours.