Workforce Development & Leadership

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Where to Start

A good starting point is our Workforce Status Review (WSR). This free, one-day assessment examines all facets of your workforce development starting with the history of your training and development processes, reviewing recruiting methods, efforts in training leaders, and current retention programs. The WSR also looks at attrition, safety and the impact that technology is having or will have on your workforce. The Workforce Status Review is a great tool to help determine your organization’s current status and identify areas where you can better align a strong workforce development strategy in support of the overall business strategy. Contact us today to schedule your free WSR assessment.

Keeping Great Employees is Critical to Your Mission

With competition for talent heating up, it is essential that companies create an internal culture that will not only attract talent, but make them want to stay. The CIS network of resources boasts years of experience in manufacturing and can share best practices regarding building or enhancing workplace cultures that are engaging, challenging and attractive to high performers.

But First You Have to Find Them

Identifying the right person for the job requires that you identify the exact skills (both soft and hard skills) that would be ideal. At the UT Center for Industrial Services, we have many resources that can help you fine tune job descriptions, categorize the talents and skill sets that will optimize performance and build the profile of the successful candidate.

Cognitive learning and Continuous Improvement

It would be great if all new employees showed up day one with all the skills that you require. But that rarely happens. To help these new team members learn your systems and your processes, you’ll need a training system that is consistent, reliable and repeatable. We use proven tools to help you develop in-house training programs that will make your team a competitive advantage.

Toyota Kata

How do you want your team members to think? Like problem solvers? Toyota Kata is about:

  • Developing new habits and allowing people to think differently about problems and goals.
  • A way of working, and of working together.
  • Using scientific thinking as an ingredient to make teams and organizations more effective and successful.
  • Developing a culture of continuous learning and improvement at all levels through deliberate practice.

Learn more HERE.

Training Within Industry (TWI)

The TWI series is a proven tool that Teaches supervisors how to quickly train employees to do a job correctly, safely and conscientiously (TWI-JI). Teaches supervisors how to continuously improve the way jobs are done (TWI-JM). And Teaches supervisors how to evaluate and take proper actions to handle and to prevent people problems (TWI-JR).

Learn more HERE.

Soft Skills

We also offer a full selection of training for frontline staff from how to communicate in the workplace, workplace diversity and better time management skills and more. Soft skills training for your staff can be customized to address your unique business needs. Using a proven curriculum, we can help your team improve communications, address conflict resolution, and learn to utilize problem solving techniques. Team members can also learn how to overcome procrastination and better time management.

For a full list, click HERE.

Training Your Future Leaders

Great teams need great leaders; whether it’s as new shift leaders, up and coming frontline supervisors or those high performing team members that will be your future midlevel managers. Through CIS, you can invest in your leaders with targeted training such as

  • Essential Skills of Leadership
  • Essential Skills of Communication
  • Coaching Job Skills
  • Improving Work Habits
  • Effective Discipline
  • Providing Performance Feedback
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Managing Complaints
  • Supporting Change
  • Developing Goals and Standards
  • Communicating Up
  • Delegating

If your future goals require a focused effort to strengthen your executive leadership, our partners at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam School of Business are a world class option. From new leaders to mid level and even to into the C suite, the resources available to you through UT CIS will be some of your most valuable assets in growing your own talent and developing strong leadership.

Start designing your leadership development training 

Coaching and Mentoring Matters

Sending your future leaders to great training is an excellent way to start. But, what happens when they get back to the plant? In-plant coaching can help ensure that your company realizes the ROI from training investments. Using tools like Training Within Industry and Toyota Kata, you can build a culture of learning within your organization that promotes coaching and mentoring throughout the ranks. With structure and a regular tempo of interaction, these in-plant coaches ensure that your training dollars show a return on investment far into the future.

Smart Talent Systems (STS)

Smart Talent Systems is just that – a systems approach to improving your company culture and transforming your manufacturing business into a place that consistently attracts and retains top talent, helping you achieve your business goals. STS focuses on small to mid-sized manufacturers who have not yet implemented standard work instructions and who struggle to find and keep skilled people. STS:

  • Is an employer based skills development system available exclusively in Tennessee through the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS).
  • Focuses on job skills training, cognitive learning and continuous improvement elements to support a learning culture.
  • Provides a customized solution that is unique to your organization. There is nothing generic about it-- your training program is integrated and embedded into your unique, everyday activities. Our approach builds up your employee’s knowledge, not just his or her skills.

If you have trouble attracting, training and retaining people to help your manufacturing company succeed, Smart Talent Systems can help you transform your organization so that your people become a competitive advantage. Click HERE to learn more.

The Strength of Our Network

The UT Center for Industrial Services draws on a robust network of resources to assist manufacturers and other employers as they grow and expand their workforce. Let us put the strength of our network to work for you.

UT CIS proudly partners with Tennessee Economic and Community Development and with Tennessee Department of Labor.

We are a member of multiple associations and national networks giving us access to a world of information and resources. 

Chambers of Commerce

Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association - TAMA

Appalachian Regional Commission 

Delta Regional Authority

DRIVE! for the Future

UT CIS is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in the state of Tennessee. This network of MEP organizations, present in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, is an immensely valuable connection to manufacturers across the nation.

Instructors and Facilitators

We have assembled a cadre of highly talented and experienced trainers whose industry knowledge and experience gives them unique insights regarding workforce development. Each one has a passion for sharing these insights within the manufacturing sector. 

Tim leads UT CIS efforts to develop and implement a sustainable and innovative workforce development strategy; develops programs and services to meet TN employers’ workforce needs; delivers consulting and training services to help TN employers improve workforce performance; coordinates efforts with workforce partners and resources in Tennessee and across the US; and ultimately ensures that CIS workforce development activities address customer needs.