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From Idea to Action: Creating the Young Manufacturers Network with Abby Wurzbach and Andrew Lane
Episode 3113th May 2024 • The Manufacturers' Network • Lisa Ryan
00:00:00 00:34:36

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In this episode, Lisa Ryan is joined by Andrew Lane and Abby Wurzbach to discuss the creation and mission of the Young Manufacturers Network. Abby shares how the network was established and its goals in providing a space for young professionals to connect, develop skills, and adapt to new technologies in the manufacturing industry. Andrew emphasizes the importance of encouraging collaboration and preparing young manufacturers for future challenges.

- Abby's career transition from education to business and her impactful experience at ManTec led to the founding of the Young Manufacturers Network. The network seeks to help small and medium-sized manufacturers grow and stay competitive through resources and networking opportunities. It offers a platform for sharing innovative ideas, professional development, mentorship, and community building.

- The hosts delve into the importance of OSHA and safety training, mentorship, and communication between different generations in the manufacturing industry. They highlight the development of a mentoring program to pair younger manufacturers with industry veterans for knowledge transfer and address the communication gap between digital native younger employees and legacy employees with technological knowledge.

**Fun Facts**

- Abby Wurzbach transitioned from education to joining her father's manufacturing company as a sales and marketing intern, eventually founding the Young Manufacturers Network.

- Andrew Lane transitioned from working as a correction officer to the staffing industry, focusing on office professional and manufacturing positions, before joining ManTech to support small and medium-sized manufacturers.

**Lessons Learned**

Building the Young Manufacturers Network involved gathering feedback from industry veterans, friends, and young people and shaping the network's direction through a focus group.

- Valuable elements from existing associations were identified and adapted to groom and grow young manufacturers within the network.

**Key Themes**

- The Young Manufacturers Network aims to provide a sense of belonging and a networking platform for professionals aged 21 to 40.

- Mentorship, skill development, communication across generations, time management, and community building are vital components of the network's offerings.

- Collaboration with local Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs) and the encouragement of buy-in from organizations play pivotal roles in the network's success and the thriving of the manufacturing industry.




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