Willamette Workforce Partnership (WWP) has been convening its High Performance Consortium for over 10 years. The consortium’s vision and mission are to ensure all Mid-Willamette manufacturers are high-performing, profitable, and thriving in the global economy by:

  • Providing a forum for collaboration and learning among members
  • Providing resources to companies for training and growth
  • Helping members set continuous improvement benchmarks and providing guidance
  • Sharing information through a growing network of members
Suzie Gibson, WWP’s Business Engagement Manager, is putting the final touches on the groups’ training calendar for 2022. Some of the key offerings include the Peer to Supervisor Leadership Series; Excel, Lean Manufacturing 101, Train-the-Trainer, and Human Resources. All training will be virtual until June when it is anticipated that training will be held in person.
Despite the pandemic, over 120 individuals participated in various trainings in 2021. This is impressive since many participating businesses were short-staffed. One of the consortium members, Ultimate RB, sent 20 employees through the Peer to Supervisor Leadership Series. The company, located in McMinnville, has been a member of the consortium for three years. What started in 1985 as one man’s vision to keep used tires out of a local landfill has evolved into a leading manufacturer of recycled rubber flooring, tiles, mats, and other products. Ultimate RB employs 93 people.
Tim Voles, plant manager said “The Peer to Supervisor training came along at the perfect time because we were in the process of choosing leads. As a result, we were able to see who was motivated to become a leader and who had leadership skills.” Tim also said that the company “is constantly training and growing its leadership capacity.” The High Performance Consortium has been very supportive and helpful in this regard.
According to Suzie “25 businesses are members of the consortium and we look forward to increasing the number of companies actively using high-performance activities and strategies.” If you are interested in joining the consortium, please contact Suzie @ 541.913.2889 or [email protected]

Gabriel Ferrell – ELY Success Story

Gabriel Ferrell recently moved to Salem with his mother and was referred by his probation officer to one of WWP’s youth provider ELY (Empowerment and Leadership for Youth and Young Adults Program). Gabriel knew he wanted to stay out of trouble and, because he dropped out of high school, get his GED.

Gabriel joined the ELY Program in October of 2021 and set a goal to complete his GED by the end of December 2021. During his first week in the program he attended an industry tour and started taking GED practice tests. Gabriel was amazed to see that he was achieving passing scores on the practice tests which indicated he was likely to pass the official exams. He passed his first three exams with scores in the 160’s which bolstered his confidence. On December 22, 2021, he passed his last official exam. His goal of attaining a GED was accomplished!
With his GED completed, Gabriel is now interested in a Work Experience (WEX) placement in health care. He is scheduled to do a job shadow in the health care field and is currently working with ELY staff to secure a WEX internship.
Gabriel feels a lot of pride over his recent achievements and is ready to do more. Although he struggled in the past, he feels healthy, happy and ready to learn more through ELY Job Skills Training and an upcoming Rethinking Careers Training. Gabriel wants to be well prepared for the workforce. He is starting to think about college and would like to be a dietician or a nutritionist. ELY staff are excited to help him achieve his next goals. Congratulations Gabriel!