Lessons Learned at the 2017 Oregon Manufacturers’ Summit
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At the fourth annual Oregon Manufacturers’ Summit, over 200 attendees came together to advance manufacturing and celebrate innovation. As OMEP’s Marketing and Events Manager, I pour every ounce into building an educational, inspiring, and useful event for Oregon manufacturers. This year was no exception.

You can read news coverage of the summit here

If you weren’t able to make it this year, here’s what you missed:

Oregon will be home to the only R&D Center of it’s kind in the United States

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 1.27.12 PMThanks to the tireless efforts of Bill Gerry and The Boeing Company, as well as Senator Betsy Johnson, Oregon will be home to the new Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC) in Scappoose Oregon. This is a public private partnership like no other in the US, modeled after the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which was founded by Sir Adrian Allen in Sheffield England.During the keynote session, Bill Gerry, Senator Johnson and Sir Adrian spoke in depth about OMIC. Backed by industry, OMIC provides opportunities to bring young people into manufacturing careers, open up innovation in Oregon and bring more business to our economy. As stated on the Business Oregon website, “The OMIC is a collaborative environment bringing together industry, higher education and government in partnership to develop new tools, techniques, and technologies to address near-term manufacturing challenges through applied research and advanced technical training.” OMIC is a much needed resource for manufacturers across the state, and will open fall 2017. You can read more here.

OMEP Made A Big Announcement

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 7.58.19 AMAfter nearly 16 years with OMEP, Chris Scherer is retiring. This news will not come as a surprise to many, since Chris has been working to select and train his replacement for quite some time. OMEP would not be where we are today without the tireless dedication, support, and advocacy that Chris has provided. He is loved by NIST staff, and all who have had the pleasure of working with him, including clients, partners, and internal staff. Although Chris is retiring as OMEP’s President, he will remain active in a consulting capacity for the near future, so he will still be contributing his valuable skillset to further Oregon manufacturing. We are grateful for all that Chris has done for OMEP. Thankfully, Aaron Fox has accepted the position of President. Some may remember that he was a consultant at OMEP several years ago. Aaron has been on board since January and is already building on Chris’ tremendous success. You can read more here.

In Depth Breakout Sessions Covered A Range of Topics

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 10.16.56 PMLast year, feedback indicated that attendees were looking for more in depth sessions, with greater focus and an even more in depth look at specific topics. This year, we took that feedback into account to deliver 6 breakout sessions with clear outcomes and actionable takeaways. Topics for 2017 ranged from understanding and meeting the challenges of cybersecurity, workforce development, leveraging resources for innovation, as well as sales and marketing. We also enjoyed a focused session on the Dynamics of Machining by Sir Adrian Allen and co-presenters as well as a session on planning your exit strategy. All in all, extending session time length gave a chance for manufacturers to ask questions and presenters a chance to dive into meatier topics.

Award Winning Companies

OMEP Presented our 4th annual Patrick R. Murphy Awards to three companies.

Finalists – Wildtime Foods, A.R.E. Manufacturing.

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Winner of the 2017 Patrick R. Murphy Award: Miles Fiberglass and Composites.

Manufacturing Matters to High School Students

Thanks to the talented students at Salem’s newly established Career and Technical Education Center, subjects like mathematics, english, and chemistry are applied directly Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 3.50.53 PMto on the job situations. Students who are Juniors and Seniors in CTEC’s robust manufacturing ‘major’ shared why they love their school, and their work. Many of them will go on to be hired directly by workforce. Students also brought several items to show off their craftsmanship, including parts for a bicycle rack, hop anchor and berry shrub anchors (students are currently fabricating and selling these to a local farmer), as well as register covers for a local church. If these students’ passion, excitement, and dedication to craft are any indication, they are on the path to a prosperous future. You can learn more about CTEC Here.

This event was made possible by our sponsors – KeyBank, Vigilant, Moss Adams, Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt, and Oregon Talent Council.

See You Next Year

Thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors and partners for making this event a success! We are proud to be a part of the contribution of Oregon manufacturers, and can’t wait to see you all next year.

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View the Summit Post-Event Landing Page


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  • Jasmine Agnor

    Jasmine Agnor, OMEP’s Senior Marketing and Events Manager, has more than ten years of experience supporting strategic marketing initiatives for both large and small businesses and organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her background includes strategic communications, corporate branding, event planning and execution, campaign management, and print and web design. Before joining the OMEP team, Jasmine helped facilitate marketing and internal communications efforts for a seismic engineering firm as well as a safety consulting company.

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