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Manufacturing group debuts with workshop
Session will focus on innovation
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

• What: Innovation Management Workshop

• When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 21

• Where: Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Regan Blvd.

• Cost: $25 per person, including lunch; attendance will be capped at about 60 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis

• R.S.V.P. online at under “Events” or by calling (770) 887-6461.

A new event and group aim to help local manufacturers.

The Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce will hold an Innovation Management Workshop on March 21 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

The daylong workshop will serve as a kickoff for the new Manufacturing Society of Forsyth County, which will support local businesses in the manufacturing sector.

Randall Toussaint, vice president of economic development with the chamber, noted that the county is home to about 500 manufacturing businesses.

“The manufacturing sector in our community is one of our strongest target markets, continuing to grow at accelerated rates,” Toussaint said.

“Our goal as we move forward is to continue to support the growth of this sector by providing them, first and foremost, with resources they can use to help grow their businesses and then, secondly, providing them with access to one another so they can develop vendor relationships with each other in terms of contracting business to business partnerships.”

Another goal for the society is to provide educational opportunities, the first of which will be the workshop.

“It’s very exciting because with the event we’re doing a partnership with Georgia Tech’s Innovation and Enterprise Institute and Lanier Technical College,” Toussaint said. “Both of them will be able to talk about training resources local manufacturers can use to bring about innovation and growth within their companies.”

Through the event, businesses can learn how to develop, funnel and test low-cost and low-risk ideas for growth.

Bruce Hagenau, president of Metcam, title sponsor of the manufacturing society, said in a statement that the workshop will cultivate innovation.

“Innovation is important to the growth of any business, but it is critical for manufacturers facing a truly global competitive marketplace,” he said. “Manufacturers do not have the luxury of simply waiting around for the ‘next great idea’ to emerge.

“You must learn to be intentional about innovation.”

Hagenau said the workshop will demonstrate concepts, tools and methodologies for transforming innovation from a random event into a reliable system for profitable growth.

“My hope is that attendees will leave the … workshop with a desire, commitment and strategy to change the culture of their business to one of never-ending innovation engineering,” he said.

Toussaint said the event is open to both chamber members and non-members. Due to the hands-on nature, however, the number of attendees will be limited to about 60.

“We’re anticipating this is going to fill up pretty quickly so we’re honoring it on a first-come, first-serve basis so that way it can still remain an intimate event,” he said.