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April 06. 2014 5:18PM

Seacoast manufacturers looking for labor

ROCHESTER — Area companies and officials are meeting again to find ways to work together and take advantage of their combined knowledge and experience.

The Seacoast Manufacturing Exchange is scheduled for Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LAARS Heating Systems Co., which is located at 20 Industrial Way in the Ten Rod Road Business Park, off Exit 14 along Route 16.

As this is the first time a business has hosted the event, fellow manufacturers will have an opportunity to tour the facility, according to Mary Ellen Humphries, economic development specialist for the city.

“We want to include the whole Seacoast,” Humphries said, adding she’s hoping her counterparts in other communities encourage business to participate in the quarterly sessions, which were previously held in October and January.

About 20 manufacturers, both big and small, attended the first session in October, and about a dozen met to discuss their challenges and needs in January.

While Humphries said they hoped to have manufacturers partner to produce more business, some companies have found other ways to save money by purchasing items in a larger group.

Humphries said manufacturers want to see how fellow businesses operate in order to share best practices and ideas. She added many companies have trouble finding enough qualified applicants to fill the available positions.

As a result, Humphries put together a binder of resources for employee recruiting and training in a variety of fields.

“Every single place I’ve gone to is looking to hire,” Humphries said, and many companies need to fill manufacturing and engineering positions.

“We’re very excited about this. We’re learning,” Humphries said, adding she’s visited about 10 area manufacturers in the past few months.

Future sessions, which are planned for July 9 and Oct. 8, will be held in other locations to give companies a chance to showcase their operations, products and needs.For more information, visit www.thinkrochester.biz.



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