On May 5th, MME group will again participate in Moving Day® Twin Cities, a fundraiser walking event dedicated to organizing families, friends, and communities in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.

If you would like to join us during this inspirational day, or seek to make a tax deductible donation, please visit our team page on the Moving Day® website. We are proud to announce that MME corporate matches all donations raised.

Making a donation on the site is easy, is a wonderful way to show your support, and is greatly appreciated. By benefiting The Parkinson’s Foundation Minnesota Chapter your donation will help improve the care of those affected and further research aimed at finding a cure.

Physical movement has been found to delay the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. Moving Day® Twin Cities participants walk in acknowledgement of those benefits and the enduring hope of finding a cure.

Please help us spread the word about this exceptionally important event.

Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation (VHEDC) Honors MME Group Vice President of Operations and HR

(Vadnais Heights, MN) On Wednesday, March 21st, at Vadnais Heights Commons, the VHEDC presented awards to several outstanding individuals for their excellence in business and their valuable contributions to the community.

VHEDC Executive Director Ling Becker says, “Congratulations from the entire VHEDC Board of Directors to David Gunderson on receiving the 2018 VHEDC Rising Star Award. We appreciate the opportunity to recognize emerging leaders in our community and the impacts they are making in their businesses and beyond.”

Rising Star Awards

Rising Stars Awards are presented to individuals younger than 40 years of age who demonstrate outstanding leadership that benefits the community and its citizens. Areas of outstanding service include working with youth, adults, and families to improve the northeast metro area. Leadership qualities include creativity, volunteerism, responsibility, problem-solving, respectfulness, cooperation and organizational skills. Leadership qualities are not limited to VHEDC activities and may include work for other organizations.

Alexandria Schumacher, Vice President of Operations and HR for MME Group

Alexandria has risen to the top of her profession in less than seven years from Customer Service entry level employee to VP level at a $20M+ manufacturing company that employees over 100 people. Alexandria began her climb to the top by recognizing the need to create a new role in the corporation to take a large load of the ownership. She built the role of Account manager plus an entire “Customer Experience Department” which services all customer needs. That success led her to accept the huge challenge of driving all company product operations. 

Alexandria directs all company product operations. She has created and empowered teams for continuous improvement, is changing the scheduling processes for two plants and coaching technical leads to grow their people. She has taken the company core beliefs of “treating everyone with dignity and respect” and built that into company culture. She has driven and installed a mandatory management leadership training program, coordinated for others to have continuing education courses and is collaborating to help send technical people to out-of-state conventions for their exposure and educational purposes.

Alexandria’s drive does not stop at MME group. She has another company that is an LLC with large goals to own several luxury hotels in the future. Her efforts today are also coupled with her goals for the future of her own private company.

About VHEDC

The VHEDC is a private non-profit organization made up of investing businesses since 1984. Its mission is to enhance economic development in the City of Vadnais Heights and the surrounding areas through the attraction, retention and expansion of existing businesses and industries. This will be accomplished by serving as a conduit of economic development resources, building collaborations with strategic partners, and providing advocacy.  For more information about the VHEDC, contact Executive Director Ling Becker at 651-485-9532 or lingbecker@vhedc.com.

When people talk about millennials in manufacturing, preconceptions abound. They are seen as having a poor work ethic, being in constant need of praise, and possessing no loyalty to their employers. Not only have we found these stereotypes to be divorced from reality, but, far from succumbing to the demands of an entitled generation, we’ve seen firsthand how embracing the expectations of a millennial workforce can help manufacturers succeed.

The Workforce of The Future (And The Present)

Millennials will make up 35 percent of the global workforce by 2020. Not only that, but millennials aren’t just “kids.” Some are approaching forty. In other words, they can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.

To ensure manufacturers have a talented pool of trained professionals to draw from, they need to work to correct outdated misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and ensure they are fostering a culture that is attractive to a generation with a new set of expectations and norms.

And, when we talk about millennials’ professional ”expectations” and “norms” it’s important to remember that every generation has had them. These concepts were certainly not invented for today’s young workers. In our experience, when even the smallest amount of skepticism is applied, the stereotypes about millennials quickly unravel.

How Millennials Are Changing Manufacturing… For The Better

Younger workers are certainly challenging more traditionally-minded employers in their desire to change long-standing practices. Certainly that is true in manufacturing. However, what many modern manufacturers are learning is that the rewards – in recruiting, retention, productivity, and innovation –  far outweigh the costs of changing policies. And, when new policies and procedures are implemented, and leadership embraces change, a cultural shift is sure to follow.

In a 2017 Gallup poll, millennials were found to desire flexibility when and where they work, seek work with a purpose, hope to speak more frequently with superiors, and display a willingness to change employers when the fit isn’t right (though they were found to value stability).

Meeting those expectations head-on means fostering an engaged and innovation-focused workforce where everyone – not just millennials – can grow and thrive.

Connected And Dedicated

Being connected to everyone and everything at all times is obviously something millennials have embraced throughout their lives. This, more than anything, has upended traditional models of the workplace.

The trade-off for millennials raised in the internet age means that, yes, they are willing to be available more often, and from more places, than their predecessors. But in exchange they require flexibility about when and where they work.

Some industries have embraced this change and the benefits of an always-connected workforce more rapidly than others. To be sure, in our view, when logistically possible, the trade-offs seem to benefit both employers and employees. However, more traditional industries like manufacturing still – in many cases – are in the process of undergoing this cultural shift.

When a company culture embraces the freedoms that technology provides, millennials are incredibly productive, dedicated to a company and their future in it, and are important collaborators throughout the manufacturing process.

Purposeful Work is Good Work

The drive to find work with purpose is another reason for manufacturers to embrace the expectations of today’s younger workers. When being part of a production team means more than checking a box, and instead involves a team of people invested in helping businesses and individuals succeed, everyone benefits.

And, no matter what the role, there’s always room to foster individual talents. When ideas are encouraged from contributors across an organization, not only are valuable insights gained, but those who want and need to feel a sense of purpose understand they have a voice and their talents are being utilized.

Manufacturing Has Its Own Stereotypes

Despite possessing advanced technologically capabilities and using them to build the world’s most sophisticated products, manufacturers are still seen as outdated by many young entrants to the workforce. Some students do not see engineering and other manufacturing-oriented paths as a modern career choice. This could not be further from the truth.

Education and outreach regarding today’s modern manufacturing industry is required – and required early – to ensure an eager young generation of skilled professionals is available to manufacturers.

On a micro-level, individual organizations also benefit from these outreach efforts by establishing relationships early for an increasingly frictionless recruiting process.

Reaching Millennials

Once an organization sees past the stereotypes and recognizes the incredible strengths this young generation of professionals possess, the next question is, how do you reach them?

Even during the recruiting process a company can drive home some of the concepts that millennials expect from employers. At MME group, Inc., for example, we are open to creating unique job descriptions based on an individual candidate’s skills and interests. When desired and appropriate, we let candidates know we see real benefits in catering roles specifically to them.

We also recommending extensive outreach to educational institutions to highlight – through real world examples – the benefits of careers in manufacturing, the technological innovations teams take part in, and opportunities for advancement.

Finally, reaching millennials where they live – online – can help set manufacturers apart by conveying key aspects of the company culture, the team, and the experience.

The Future is Bright

When we see the dedication our young generation of professionals brings to the table, we can’t help but be bullish on the future of manufacturing. They are a workforce that is raring to go and eager to learn. As more and more manufacturers recognize that the stereotypes about millennials are, in reality, benefits, we can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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