Our thanks to everyone who attended and participated in our final Facility Managers Meeting of the year. In lieu of a traditional presenter for this month’s meeting, a roundtable discussion took place among attendees to encourage a dialogue surrounding updates and issues within the local industrial sector.
The meeting began with a presentation from Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation Vice President Andy Games, which concerned some of the latest developments in the construction of the BlueOval SK Battery Park in Glendale and some of the latest developments at the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park in Elizabethtown. According to Games, the Industrial Foundation has sold roughly 230 acres of land to three companies in the last 10 months, two of which will serve as suppliers for BlueOval. These include Lotte Aluminum, which will be located adjacent to Flex Films, and Advanced Nano Products, which will be located adjacent to Hendrickson.
In addition, Games updated attendees on Kruger Packaging, which opened in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park in June. Games said the factory is mostly operational now and that those in administration at the facility will soon move from their former office on Ring Road to the new facility.
Following Games’ remarks, meeting attendees each introduced themselves, discussed the work they do with their respective companies and shared some updates or challenges facing their organization. Carter Dyson, one-stop director at the Kentucky Career Center-Lincoln Trail, discussed a career fair event that the Career Center is helping to organize at the Pritchard Community Center in Elizabethtown on Nov. 2 for Barton Mallow, contractor for the BlueOval project. During the event, several trade partners and subcontractors will be present to engage with workforce-ready adults to offer hundreds of apprenticeship and workforce opportunities. More information about this career fair can be found at https://bit.ly/3CTtLeu.
Joe Fowler, President and CEO of United Way of Central Kentucky (UWCK), discussed UWCK’s current workforce campaign to raise funds to address barriers in health and basic needs, education and financial achievement in the region. Nate Cox, Director of Philanthropy at the Baptist Health Hardin Foundation, discussed Baptist Health Hardin’s new Outpatient Medical Pavilion, which is set to open in 2024 and discussed some internship opportunities available through the healthcare system.
When discussing the biggest challenges among area manufacturers, the most common issue brought up during the meeting was the recruitment and retention of employees. According to a study released earlier this month from personal finance website WalletHub, Kentucky ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to employers struggling to hire.
“We’ve got to find a way to get people integrated back into the workforce,” said Brett Barnes, Systems Manager for Metalsa.
Trinity Searcy, Operations Manager at Karbec LLC, shared this sentiment.
“We’re really struggling to retain our talent,” he said.
Recognizing that criminal backgrounds are a major obstacle for many prospective employees, Barnes made fellow meeting attendees aware of an upcoming expungement clinic in Elizabethtown hosted by Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.
Facility Managers Meetings are set to return on the following dates: January 19, 2023, February 16, 2023, March 16, 2023, April 20, 2023, May 18, 2023, August 17, 2023, September 21, 2023, October 19, 2023.
For more information, or if interested in attending the next facility managers meeting, please contact the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation at 270-737-0300.