Supply chain management companies look to expand their workforce as hiring struggle persists

More than 400 new jobs expected to come to Genesee County but companies still look to fill previous openings
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Two businesses will be expanding in Burton and Grand Blanc Township bringing more jobs and investment to Genesee County; however filling those jobs could be challenging as a worker shortage persists.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic supply chain management experts have seen a disruption in getting goods to consumers both locally and globally.

“Demand right now, because it’s higher, you need more workers than you had and some workers are not willing to return, that’s exacerbating this shortage,” Usman Ahmed, PhD, who works as an assistant professor of supply Chain & operations management at U of M Flint said.

Without enough employees to hire to meet the increase in demand labor-related delays and shortages won’t disappear anytime soon.

“Reducing capacity is a lot easier than adding capacity, Ahmed said. “Now that demand is coming back up, I have so much demand for my products, how do I expand capacity?”

However, experts add companies re-evaluating their approach to supply chain management by adding more jobs now could help ease those disruptions in the long run.

“I think there is a silver lining to the cloud, that companies will do more operations in the U.S. going forward,” Ahmed said. “It’s hard to change supply chains in a few months and I think it’s an exciting time for managers and students in the supply chain to be part of this restructuring.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Michigan) made the announcement on Tuesday that two businesses are expanding in Burton and in Grand Blanc Township.

The two companies are the supply chain manager provider Northgate and the auto supplier DAG Technology. Northgate is based in Flint and expanding in Burton to bring 374 jobs and investing $13 million, and DAG Technology is based in Sterling Heights and establishing a new manufacturing facility in Grand Blanc Township, investing $10 million dollars.

They’ll be taking over a former Tier-1 supplier facility in Grand Blanc Township, bringing the total jobs to 424 and $23 million to the Flint region. Some of those jobs focus on assembly, paint and assemble, and injection molding.

The Flint and Genesee Economic Alliance will help recruit talent to fill those positions. isn’t concerned with helping fill those positions. Executive Director, Tyler Rossmaessler says hiring should not be a concern despite the current worker shortage.

“We see the demand for products continuing to expand nationally globally. And trying to fill that locally continues to be our challenge,” Rossmaessler said. “We’re gonna work hard and I believe that these companies will be successful here because they’re good paying jobs, and they provide good work.”

Ahmed and Rossmaessler say that filling both the worker shortage and new employment opportunities do start with what the company can offer and following the pandemic many of those companies are taking a look and making changes to wages, benefits and the culture of the company to better appeal to the hiring market.

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