December 2, 2022

Powell Electrical Systems Partners with Business Resource Network (BRN)

Category: Success Stories

Author: Maddy Miller

The Business Resource Network (BRN) is a collaborative and growing group of the region’s chambers of commerce, workforce and economic development organizations, schools, colleges, universities, community organizations, and government agencies that all offer a business service to help employers and their employees solve problems. Lori Sproul, HR Manager at Powell shares her experience with the BRN.

Sproul explains, “Powell was founded in 1947 in Houston, TX. We have had a manufacturing site in North Canton, Stark County, Ohio since 1997. We manufacture custom-engineered products for our customers in industries such as Oil & Gas, Electric Utility, and Transportation. We are a customer-focused company that respects and listens to our clients. We achieve our success through the hard work and devotion of the people that work for our company. Our ‘can-do’ spirit symbolizes who we are; a world-class producer that embraces complexity through our customer-engineered solutions, and our commitment to continually improve our technical expertise, product designs, and processes is the basis for our drive to perform.

Powell Electrical Systems, Inc. became engaged with the Business Resource Network in the fall of 2021. After meeting with several local leaders, Powell received a proposal full of references, referrals, and resources. Here are just a few examples of those we have used so far:

The Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) is one of the things that came out of our meeting with the BRN. The IWTP offers grant money to manufacturing employers to develop the skills of existing employees. The application process was relatively easy, and the support staff with the BRN were very helpful in guiding us through it. Powell used the IWTP grant to fund several training opportunities across 2021 and 2022, including ISO Auditor Training and a corporate initiative called Crucial Conversations. We will continue our annual Crucial Conversations training as well as add new training opportunities in 2023.

Through our relationship with the BRN, Powell also learned about the Ohio TechCred grant. We opened discussions with Walsh University about a data analytics program that qualifies for TechCred. We now have a cohort identified to complete a 3-part training course that we expect to identify more efficient and cost-effective means to process information. The team at Walsh University has been very helpful in taking us step by step through the application and registration processes. We began the training the first week of November 2022. We are excited about the possibilities ahead!

Here at Powell, we have customers in utilities and oil & gas, just to name a few. Some of our customers are outside the USA – we recently learned of the IMAGE grant related to international market access and are in the process of learning about our eligibility to apply for funding.

Powell Electrical Systems, Inc. in North Canton, OH has a 5-year strategic plan that has identified some key business metrics to drive growth for our division. The relationship with the Business Resource Network and the resources provided are important components to minimizing the impact of the costs of doing business. We are always striving to improve ourselves and the grant funding available is helping us to drive toward our goals.

The BRN leaders don’t just drop a proposal and leave the business to figure everything out on its own. The BRN leaders are customer focused, continue to build relationships, and provide ongoing support to Powell. At Powell, we solve our customers’ toughest problems, and the leaders from the BRN provide resources and support to solve all our problems! We make a great team.”

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