Turner Machine Unveils New Culture Initiatives To Support Women Employees

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Attracting female talent to an understaffed industry

Turner Machine's New Fitness Program

Women are manufacturing's largest pool of untapped talent, so if we can appeal to potential female job candidates through initiatives like a fitness program, that makes us more competitive, and ultimately makes us a better company.

Turner Machine, a custom machine builder and machine shop, recently unveiled two new company initiatives to specifically support the company’s women employees.

Among the initiatives are a new workout program and weekly ladies-only lunches championed by office manger, Joy Wildes. After all eight women employees chose health goals during the company’s last quarterly meeting, Wildes, along with Jeff Turner, CEO of Turner Machine, developed an exercise program.

In an industry facing a 2-million worker shortfall over the decade, according to new research from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, supporting women employees in the male-dominated machining industry is not just the right thing to do, it’s also one important way to help prepare for this coming dearth of qualified workers, Turner said.

“One of our top priorities at Turner Machine is to foster a great company culture—for everyone," said Turner. “Women are manufacturing's largest pool of untapped talent, so if we can appeal to potential female job candidates through initiatives like a fitness program, that makes us more competitive, and ultimately makes us a better company.”

The group meets two nights a week after work for an hour-long workout session. The women rotate between several fitness routines including cardio, abs and Pilates. So far, the group has lost a total of 30 pounds, which may not seem like a lot, but added to the inches lost and the amount of team building taking place, the ladies consider this a big win.

“Reaching your goals can be difficult without a support system, so that’s why we created the Turner fitness program,” said Wildes. “Being in a male-dominated industry, this program really gives the women a chance to bond, while also improving our health. And the best part is we have the support of all the men in the company, as well.”

The weekly ladies-only lunches provide an outlet to discuss important matters in a safe environment. These new women-focused initiatives are a part of Turner Machine’s larger push to develop a robust company culture so that it is successful in recruiting top talent during a time when it is hard to find.

While women represent nearly half (47 percent) of the total U.S. labor force, according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, they comprise less than a third of the manufacturing industry. Attracting more women to the industry could significantly reduce the skills gap.

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Turner Machine Company, Inc. is a full-service machine shop that specializes in building custom machines. The company, founded by Jeff Turner, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in November. Currently, Turner Machine employs around 50 people. It is located 15 miles southeast of Nashville, Tenn., in Smyrna. For more information about Turner Machine Company visit http://www.turnermc.com/ .

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Jeff Bradford

Jeff Turner
Turner Machine Co., Inc.
since: 12/2012
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