Industry Leaders at Metro-West Advanced Manufacturing Alliance Identify the Top 3 Critical Positions 

By Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber Director of Talent Pipeline Development

On Thursday June 8th, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center hosted the second all partner meeting for the Metro-West Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. This group was formed to bring together leaders and partners in manufacturing to create solutions for industry challenges.  

In our first meeting, manufacturing leaders identified four key issues including: recruitment, upskilling, community awareness, and supply chain. During this meeting, we were able to start driving action towards solutions. 

Arvada Chamber President and CEO, Kami Welch, spoke about putting action into our recruitment and upskilling work by working with attendees on Talent Pipeline Management (TPM). TPM is a demand-driven, employer-led approach which works to close the skills gap and build talent supply chains aligned to dynamic business needs. Employers play an expanded leadership role as “end-customers” of our education and training systems. 

The industry leaders were challenged to decide on the top three critical positions in their industry right now. “We know all positions could use support, but we can’t boil the ocean,” said Kami. “We must focus to make progress.” During this session, the industry leaders decided on: Machining, Quality Control, and Engineers to be their top three positions. Machining as a critical position was not so much a surprise. Recent data from Lightcast showed in the last 12 months there are a total of 514 machinist jobs in Jefferson County and a total of 186 machinist program completions ( down 41% from 2017-2021). This is the data we need to pay attention to, and work to increase numbers in the completion rates to align with industry needs. 

In our next all partner meeting we will take on the next steps of TPM with these critical positions and gain more clarity on demand planning, competency requirements, and key talent suppliers. 

During the meeting, other partners highlighted resources for Manufacturers. Robert Newbold, Director of Client Services from Manufacturers Edge was able to highlight their new supply chain platform that will allow manufacturers to easily identify suppliers for their needs: manufacturersedge.com/co-mfg-network. Michael Aman, Business Services Supervisor at Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center highlighted additional grant opportunities for work-based learning that can pair well with the Work-Based Learning Incentive Program. Iza Petrykowska shared that AEDA provides free marketing and other grant funding as well. 

Overall we are excited to continue working with partners and industry leaders across Jefferson County to break down silos and build a sustainable approach to solving challenges. This is how we do it: we are better together!

B.O.L.D. 2026 is a five-year regional economic strength and resiliency initiative of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber developed BOLD 2026 in consultation with private and public sector leaders and partners in Arvada, Jefferson / Adams Counties, Metro Denver and the state of Colorado. One goal of B.O.L.D. 2026 is to grow our talent to meet the needs of employers and job seekers. Learn more about our talent challenges and work here.

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