NAI is a leading designer and manufacturer of custom copper wire harnesses which deliver power and signals to monitor data, connect people and keep equipment operating. NAI products are used in both the medical and communications industries on a daily basis. They operate seven plants worldwide and continue to grow. In 2018, NAI’s CEO saw an opportunity to open a new manufacturing facility in Gaylord, Michigan. His vision was to bring more job opportunities to the area, which would benefit the small northern Michigan town, as well as Gaylord being a prime location for transporting products efficiently.
NAI is considered a critical manufacturing company. During the unsettling times of COVID-19, they were able to remain open and keep their employees working at full capacity. Currently, the Gaylord is preparing for the transition of products that were being manufactured at their Shuzuo, China plant to be manufactured domestically, in Gaylord, Michigan.
As a critical manufacturing facility, it’s very important NAI has a workforce that is ready and able to perform their job to their best ability especially during uncertain times. In order for NAI to be successful, it’s paramount that they have a skilled workforce, and that they’re provided the tools and education necessary to complete their jobs. Skill-specific talent in northern Michigan is scarce, but NAI is willing to invest in training their employees so they can succeed and grow together. NAI realizes a key factor to their success is investing in continuous training to foster growth as their Gaylord product line. As NAI expands product lines, their budget for training will increase as well.
With the help of Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium, NAI was awarded a 2021 Going PRO Talent Fund award of $16,442 to train 11 existing employees and hire/train 5 new employees. Training included “Train the Trainer” provided by North Central Michigan College, Blueprint Reading provided by Kirtland Community College, and OSHA 30 training provided online.
“GPTF has provided NAI with the opportunity to provide training to new and existing employees,” states Beth Butler, Human Resources Administrative Assistant at NAI. “With the additional funding available, we were able to offer training in our specific industry that otherwise would not have been available.”
She continues, “Being in Northern Michigan, skilled specific talent is hard to find. This is why NAI invests and trains our employees to develop with us as we continue growing. With the support of the GPTF, we are able to keep investing in our workforce, allowing us to retain talent and bring in new talent to fill any documented skill mismatch within our industry.”