Batesville-based Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) is launching what calls a first-of-its-kind workforce initiative. The manufacturer is partnering with its Germany-based subsidiary Coperion on the effort, which is designed to attract and retain talented employees on a global scale and help bridge the international gap in its workforce.
The companies will work with students at Batesville High School and Karl Maybach Gymnasium in Germany, to foster student interest and experiences in global manufacturing and expose them to potential career opportunities. The two schools are already connected in an exchange through the German American Partnership Program.
"As companies continue to grow and compete for talent in the current workforce environment, we have to become an employer of choice and create a compelling value proposition," said Kim Ryan, president of Coperion and senior vice president of Hillenbrand. "We strive to be a great company and we’re willing to invest in our future workforce and our capability to create an impactful experience for these students."
Hillenbrand says students in both countries will have the opportunity to talk with business leaders and tour Coperion facilities in Stuttgart and Weingarten to gain a better understanding of the company and its goals and objectives. Batesville students in July will travel to German to meet their counterparts and in 2020, students from German will travel to Batesville to continue working on the program.
Glennis Williams, chief human resource officer for Hillenbrand, says the program will open up an avenue for the company to get a different perspective on the workforce that it needs to attract in the next 5-10 years. "We can develop a pipeline of employees if we can find more opportunities to reach out at a young age and get people excited about the fact that manufacturing means something more than running a piece of machinery."