Workforce Development & Leadership

ARC Program

Workforce Development is one of the most critically important business strategy concerns for American manufacturers as we face a rapidly changing environment.  A well-developed workforce strategy can reduce employee turnover; improve customer service; add production efficiencies; help in the creation of new products and ideas and lower recruitment costs. There is also the potential of lower liability costs, more efficient use of training dollars, increased potential of business expansion and increases in community economic growth and productivity.     

  • Where to start
  • Keeping great employees is critical to your mission
  • But first you have to find them
  • A well rounded team has well developed soft skills and hard skills
  • Training your future leaders
  • Coaching and Mentoring matters
  • The Strength of Our Network
  • Instructors and Facilitators


Where to Start

A good starting point is our Workforce Status Review (WSR). This free, one-day assessment examines all facets of your workforce development starting with the history of your training and development processes, reviewing recruiting methods, efforts in training leaders, and current retention programs. The WSR also looks at attrition, safety and the impact that technology is having or will have on your workforce. The Workforce Status Review is a great tool to help determine your organization’s current status and identify areas where you can better align a strong workforce development strategy in support of the overall business strategy. Contact us today to schedule your free WSR assessment.

Keeping Great Employees is Critical to Your Mission

With competition for talent heating up, it is essential that companies create an internal culture that will not only attract talent, but make them want to stay. The CIS network of resources boasts years of experience in manufacturing and can share best practices regarding building or enhancing workplace cultures that are engaging, challenging and attractive to high performers.

But First You Have to Find Them

Identifying the right person for the job requires that you identify the exact skills (both soft and hard skills) that would be ideal. At the UT Center for Industrial Services, we have many resources that can help you fine tune job descriptions, categorize the talents and skill sets that will optimize performance and build the profile of the successful candidate.

Recruiting the right talent starts well before you place the help wanted ad. Building a bench of future talent requires some serious strategy and preparation in advance. The CIS team can help you analyze the effectiveness of your recruiting channels, help you identify other potential recruiting resources, examine your workforce marketing efforts and lay out a plan to become the preferred employer in your area.

A Well Rounded Team has Well Developed Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Because we can offer a variety of skills training options, we can help you identify workforce education programs for team members at all levels. For example, standardized work instructions for entry level employees ensures that every new team member is trained correctly from the start. Train the trainer (some may know this as certified trainers) programs are an excellent way to engage your team at all levels and to move in-house training from mediocre to world class. We can help set these programs in place.

If an apprenticeship or internship would fit your needs, we can assist you with the exploration and launching of these two long proven work based learning and skills enhancement programs. The CIS team can help your staff learn the concepts of Lean Manufacturing as well as provide safety training. In fact, within our network of educators and training experts, we can connect you with a vast array of skills training options.

Soft skills training for your staff can be customized to address your unique business needs. Using a proven curriculum, we can help your team improve communications, address conflict resolution, and learn to utilize problem solving techniques. Team members can also learn how to overcome procrastination and how to better manage their time. Let us help you identify the exact skills your team needs and develop a plan to help them obtain and enhance those skills.

Training Your Future Leaders

Great teams need great leaders; whether it’s as new shift leaders, up and coming frontline supervisors or those high performing team members that will be your future midlevel managers. Through CIS, you can invest in your leaders with targeted training such as

  • Automotive Supply Chain Workforce Readiness Program
  • Essential Skills of Leadership
  • Essential Skills of Communication
  • Coaching Job Skills
  • Improving Work Habits
  • Effective Discipline
  • Providing Performance Feedback
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Managing Complaints
  • Supporting Change
  • Developing Goals and Standards
  • Communicating Up
  • Delegating


Coaching and Mentoring Matters

Sending your future leaders to great training is an excellent way to start. But, what happens when they get back to the plant? In plant coaching can help ensure that your company realizes the ROI from training investments. We help identify and  assist these coaches as they mentor and help these future leaders learn from day to day experiences. With structure and a regular tempo of interaction, these in-plant coaches ensure that your training dollars show a return on investment for into the future. Your newly trained leaders benefit from the experience of the coaches as they grow in their abilities and the coaches grow as they share their experiences and use their leadership skills to help others. The methods we share are rooted in the concept of mentoring and help to build strong, reliable teams.

UT CIS exists to help manufacturers. When you need to upgrade your employees’ skills or identify new skills to support future manufacturing opportunities, call UTCIS. When it’s time to review and assess your workforce development strategy or time to determine the current state before embarking in a new and different direction, contact your team at UTCIS.

The Strength of Our Network

UT CIS draws on a robust network of resources to assist manufacturers and other employers as they grow and expand their workforce. Let us put the strength of our network to work for you.

We proudly partner with Tennessee Economic and Community Development and with Tennessee Department of Labor.

We are a member of multiple associations and national networks giving us access to a world of information and resources. 

Chambers of Commerce

Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association - TAMA

Appalachian Regional Commission 

Delta Regional Authority

DRIVE! for the Future

UT CIS is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in the state of Tennessee. This network of MEP organizations, present in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, is an immensely valuable connection to manufacturers across the nation.

Instructors and Facilitators

We have assembled a cadre of highly talented and experienced trainers whose industry knowledge and experience gives them unique insights regarding workforce development. Each one has a passion for sharing these insights within the manufacturing sector. 

Meet our Workforce Development Specialist


Tim Waldo

Office: (865) 974-3185     

Mobile: (865) 805-0813

Tim leads UTCIS efforts to develop and implement a sustainable and innovative workforce development strategy; develops programs and services to meet TN employers’ workforce needs; delivers consulting and training services to help TN employers improve workforce performance; coordinates efforts with workforce partners and resources in Tennessee and across the US; and ultimately ensures that CIS workforce development activities address customer needs.

Other Workforce and Leadership Services