Case Study: Weld Adams Sustainable Manufacturing Alliance

This partnership is co-convened by Upstate Colorado Economic Development and Brighton Economic Development. They originally received a planning grant, and employer surveys conducted during that phase revealed that many employers are implementing aspects of sustainable manufacturing, but many do not pursue sustainability according to rigorous standards or categories of work.

The Weld Adams Sustainable Manufacturing Alliance will promote the competitiveness of Northern Colorado manufacturers engaged in renewable energy, agriculture, food processing, and other areas through the implementation of sustainable manufacturing practices to improve productivity and develop an educated workforce. This is being done in two ways. One way is through direct training of employees of some of the region’s manufacturers. Additionally, through the formation of a Manufacturer’s Alliance, outreach will be made to the entire manufacturing community to disseminate case studies, lessons learned and best practices.

Employers were selected for participation in the training portion of the grant based upon their understanding of and willingness to embrace sustainability. Common areas of focus include reducing energy usage and waste, increasing efficiency, boosting productivity and safeguarding their workers. Staff met individually with each employer to understand their skill needs and training requirements, then developed training plans relevant to each employer.

To track progress, staff will extract applicable data from the specific metrics designed by each employer to gauge progress toward their sustainability goals. They will also use a survey template developed by the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (a Manufacturing Extension Partnership center) to determine the efficacy and improvements produced four to six months after the training.

Related Materials

One-page description of partnership/initiative used during one-on-one meetings with employers
Sample individualized training plan for an employer
MEP survey template for tracking outcomes

Sample agendas for monthly meetings (March 2011, May 2011, June 2011)
Sample weekly grant activity updates (used by staff to track progress) (Feb 2011, March 2011, June 2011)

Training application (to be filled out by employees)
Class sign-in form

In-Kind Documentation form to track leveraged resources of employer in-kind contributions

One-page grant summary/description