Team Effort for Warsaw’s Orthopedic Industry

The good news about being an orthopedic company located in Warsaw, Indiana (the orthpedic capital of the world) is that there are many talented industry employees. The bad thing about such an arrangement is that the battle to attract and keep those skillful workers can be a competitive one.

A number of Medtronic (one of the 2012 Best Places to Work in Indiana) team members have made career stops at more than one of the Warsaw organizations (big and small) in the field. And while there is competition, Roy Wiley, director of manufacturing and planning at the Medtronic operation, wanted to be sure to tout the OrthoWorx initiative.

"This is the companies getting together and realizing that to get the right type of talent base we have to collaboratively advance the opportunities around Warsaw — the cultural amenities, the schools. It has been an extremely positive development for everybody, us included. Everybody realizes we’ve got a good base (of workers) here, but if we keep stealing from each other, we won’t grow."

During a visit to Medtronic, Wiley also shared the story of a phone call that came in after 5 p.m. on a Friday about a special implant needed for a young person’s life-altering surgery early the following week. Team members, he relates, stayed beyond their normal shifts and were "excited and proud to be able to do something to help that child." That is just one of many heartwarming stories of a company focused on spinal implants.

Medtronic will be profiled in the May-June BizVoice, following the May 3 Best Places to Work in Indiana awards dinner. It’s not too late to attend that event, honoring 70 outstanding Indiana workplaces. To learn more about participating in the 2013 Best Places program, go here.

Indiana Unemployment High, Yet Qualified Workers Still Hard to Find

It seems counterintuitive that with so many Hoosiers out of work, employers are having a difficult time finding qualified applicants. But our friends at Inside INdiana Business issued a release today that some might find surprising:

At this week’s conference, Wabash National Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dick Giromini, Brightpoint America President Mark Howell and Paragon Medical CEO Toby Buck all said they are having trouble finding workers with the technical skills needed to fill their openings.

David Floyd, who will become the chief executive officer of Warsaw-based OrthoWorx next month, says finding well-trained employees to staff Indiana’s growing orthopedics sector is going to be one of his biggest challenges in the job.

Anderson-based Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems President Pete Bitar echoed those concerns. He is a member of the newly-formed Indiana Aerospace and Defense Council.

Wabash National Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dick Giromini will be a guest on Inside INdiana Business Television this weekend to discuss the issue.

According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the state’s economy has added 3,800 net private sector jobs this year, buoyed by 5,500 manufacturing jobs.

On the topic of training and re-entering the workforce, you might also check out my article in the new BizVoice about some steps being taken to educate the state’s older workers.