Strategies and Funding to Develop and Retain Employees in a Tight Labor Market

Home / Events / Strategies and Funding to Develop and Retain Employees in a Tight Labor Market

Start Date

April 12, 2022 10:00 am

End Date

April 12, 2022 11:00 am




Polaris MEP & Tooling U



Manufacturers are currently challenged by a labor shortage (too few skilled candidates coming into the pipeline), the COVID pandemic’s impact on employees and an aging workforce. All of this makes it even more important to retain manufacturing employees. But how?

Developing employees — investing in their professional growth through training in new areas and upskilling — is a proven strategy for keeping skilled team members engaged. Join us for a webinar spotlighting the online training opportunities as a strategy for development and the available funding for virtual training.

Lindsey Brickle, Polaris MEP’s Senior Workforce Manager and Greg Surtman, Senior Workforce Education Strategist at Tooling U-SME will discuss the online manufacturing programs available through Polaris MEP such as Machining, Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics, Smart Manufacturing and more.

Polaris MEP and Tooling U’s virtual classes are used by thousands of manufacturing companies. These readily available programs are aligned to industry certifications and the most pressing needs of small and medium-sized manufacturers.


  • RI Manufacturing company owners and executives
  •  HR leads
  •  Operations, continuous improvement leads


Greg Surtman, a senior workforce education strategist at Tooling U-SME, is responsible for supporting the organization’s workforce partner network in providing talent and learning solutions to manufacturers across the country. These workforce partners may include Manufacturing Extension Partnership members, community colleges, workforce development boards, and community based organizations. Between the New Horizons Computer Learning Center, Cuyahoga Community College, Contract Training Edge and Tooling U-SME, Greg has been providing learning solutions across many industry sectors for more than 23 years. He also sits on the board at Polaris Career Center and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC).

Lindsey Brickle manages Polaris MEP’s workforce programs. She helps manufacturers create jobs, retain talent and train workers for tomorrow’s challenges. The Rhode Island DLT-funded training and hiring programs Lindsey has created and/or manages include Fast Track to Manufacturing and the Phoenix Lean program. In addition to her work at Polaris MEP, Lindsey is a director of The Leadership Partnership of Rhode Island. She was recognized by the Providence Business News as a 2021 “40 Under 40” honoree.

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