Addressing The Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry
As new manufacturing operations prepare to hire workers in Memphis, existing manufacturing companies with an aging workforce are trying to figure out ways to fill those positions when they retire. The Industrial Readiness Training (IRT) program was developed to train potential candidates to fill those jobs. The IRT course is a four-week program at Southwest Tennessee Community College, developed in partnership with the Workforce Investment Network (WIN), designed to prepare individuals for jobs in local manufacturing and industry. The curriculum covers technical and interpersonal knowledge and skills that have been identified by local industry leaders as critical to long-term employee success. Graduates of the IRT program have enjoyed more favorable hiring prospects in jobs in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
Kim Barnett is a Director of Workforce Development and Manager of the Industrial Readiness Training Program at Southwest. Prior to joining Southwest, Kim worked in operations management for Federal Express in Memphis World Hub and also spent many years in retail management and operations, as a buyer and operations manager for Goldsmiths Department Stores--which is now Macy’s.
Kim earned his undergraduate degree and an Executive Masters of Business Administration from the University of Memphis. As a proud Life Member of the University of Memphis Alumni Association, Kim Currently serves as Vice President for Membership on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors. Kim is a past President of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics Alumni Chapter. Kim, a native Memphian, is married and a father of two.