Changing Workforce / Career Development

Faced with worker shortages, Montana manufacturers turn to schools

By Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle

Jan 13, 2017

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For several days in January, students at Park High School learned what it takes to make pet toys.

Over the course of the last week, a pair of employees at West Paw Design, a Bozeman-based pet goods company, took over teacher Jamie Isaly’s manufacturing class.

The teaching was part of a larger outreach effort by the Gallatin Valley Manufacturing Partnership, a newly formed coalition of local manufacturers, which hopes to address various industry issues from worker shortages to public perception.

“One of the major goals with this instruction is to build skills critical to manufacturing such as teamwork and problem solving,” said one of the West Paw employees, customer service manager Nikki Dixon-Foley.

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