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Michigan Business Beat | John Walsh Shares MMA's New Executive Director of Workforce Solutions

Michigan Business Network
May 19, 2022 6:00 PM

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Chris Holman welcomes back John J. Walsh, President & CEO, MMA, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Lansing, MI, along with Bill Rayl, MMA's New Executive Director of Workforce Solutions

Watch John, Bill, and Chris discuss talent, MMA, and the new role Bill will bring to the association, in the YouTube video shared below.

In the conversation, Chris looks to find out from John;

how MMA is addressing the big business challenge - Talent!

Tell us about how you're doing that (with a new MMA team member)?

Bill introduce yourself to the Michigan business community!

Bill, can you go into some highlights you'll look to accomplish with MMA?

Talent continues to be a primary barrier to growth for our industry, our state, and our employers. The shortage of people interested in and prepared for a career in manufacturing is a persistent challenge exacerbated by the global pandemic and related economic disruption.

Pervasive gaps between the skills demanded by advanced manufacturing and those supplied by Michigan’s education system and training providers remain in Michigan and deserve much greater collaboration to make Michigan manufacturers more competitive. 

To navigate the gaps between workforce supply and demand, manufacturers need a connector to chart an effective path of collaboration with potential talent producers — including K-12 schools, community colleges, universities, and private training providers. A bridge between these two disparate but inextricably linked worlds is needed to develop the strongest and most competitive manufacturing workforce in the world.

As Michigan manufacturers face increasing competition across this great nation of ours and around the world for skilled talent, and as the need for skilled workers to develop and implement new advanced technologies reaches a critical juncture, it is my honor to announce the arrival of one of the country’s most recognized experts to the MMA family to serve as that connector for Michigan manufacturers.

Bill Rayl, MMA’s new Executive Director of Workforce Solutions, established and led the nation’s preeminent example of industry collaboration to create successful talent solutions as the leader of the Jackson Area Manufacturers Association. In his nearly 19 years at the helm of JAMA, Bill developed numerous programs and partnerships to help Jackson manufacturers attract, retain and develop a world-class workforce. Perhaps most recognizable is the Academy for Manufacturing Careers, a skilled trades-related technical instruction Registered Apprenticeship Program that has been recognized by the White House, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council, just to name a few.

In his role at MMA, Bill will continue his lifelong work of developing new partnerships and collaborations to empower Michigan manufacturers to thrive. His work will benefit the full spectrum of manufacturers of all sizes in communities large and small across the state by connecting the needs of our members with the training and pipeline needed to fill the same.I

n addition, Bill will be working closely with Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Johnston and Director of Employment Policy Dave Worthams to inform and advance systematic educational change and increased state funding for demand-driven manufacturing training.

In the coming weeks and months, Bill and the MMA team will be reaching out to members and potential partners to develop collaborative solutions for Michigan manufacturers to win the war for talent.  

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