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Lois Vaughn-Keller
Recognition Specialties Vice President Lois Vaughn-Keller
Learn how the Employer Workforce Training Fund and WorkSource Oregon helped this name tag specialist
 
With a growth rate of 20 percent a year, it’s easy to add new manufacturing processes to existing ones until the production line gets long and snaky. That’s what happened to Recognition Specialties, a Grants Pass manufacturer of identity and recognition products, until they got grant money from Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Employer Workforce Training Fund (EWTF) to improve their production flow.
 
The grant provided training in a process called lean manufacturing. This process speeds up the manufacturing of a product by reducing the steps necessary as the product moves along the production line. The Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership provided the expertise and training in lean manufacturing to Recognition Specialties.
 
“We went from an order traveling 580 feet, to it going just 180 feet,” explained President Lowell Gibson. Now, instead of an order taking three days to fill, the leaner process turns an order around in 24 hours.
 
The grant came from the region’s Workforce Response Team, made up of Enterprise Board representatives of economic development, workforce development, labor, private business and providers of workforce education and training. These teams work with businesses statewide as a single point of contact.
 
Beyond streamlining production, the company also recognizes the benefits of using the recruitment, training, economic information services provided by WorkSource Oregon and its partners.
 
“We don’t have a lot of turnover, and all our positions are permanent. One wrong match can really disrupt our production,” says Vice President Lois Vaughn-Keller. The name tag specialist taps the Job Council and the Oregon Employment Department, both WorkSource Oregon partners, when adding staff to their tightly-knit family. Candidates sent by the Oregon Employment Department often have successfully completed training provided through the Job Council.
 
“They did it exactly the way we asked them to do it,” says Vaughn-Keller. “We have a very cohesive relationship here with our providers.”
 
Recognition Specialties also recognizes the value of quality economic information that’s customized for them. They enlisted the help of their local Workforce Analyst, Ainoura Oussenbec, to provide up-to-date customized economic information that helped them make informed business decisions. And as President Lowell Gibson explains, “It’s good to keep up on all the trends.”
 
To find out how a Workforce Response Teams can help with your business needs click HERE – or HERE to find a Center near you – or HERE  to find your nearest Oregon Employment Department office.