From The Heartland: Skilled Workforce

From The Heartland: Skilled Workforce

We continue the “From the Heartland” series. This time we are covering the advantages of Education and Research in the workforce. Being located in the Midwest, our company has access to talented, highly skilled workers from many leading Universities in the area.

The Midwest is home to 481 public and private Colleges and Universities, that includes 38 of the top 100 engineering and hard science Universities in the world. The Midwest’s Big 10 Universities have nationally recognized and funded technology and biotechnology research programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that by 2030, Millennials would make up 75% of the workforce, and many of them are moving to the Midwest looking for a place to settle down. Manufacturing jobs are life-sustaining jobs, above minimum wage in an industry that offers room for growth and enhancement. Manufacturing jobs open up the opportunity to build a career for a lifetime, which can make them more appealing to Millennials. These sustainable, good-paying jobs also help contribute back to creating better communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to the manufacturing sector. For companies that have been deemed essential because of the products they make and the vital role they play in our country’s economy, it has been challenging to keep up with demand or having enough employees. For this reason, different areas of the Midwest have opened up opportunities for Trade-school students to find work opportunities during the pandemic (Brown, 2020).

At Apex, we do not stop at just hiring the right person for the job; we also give them the proper training and all the tools necessary to help them become the right person for the job. We understand the importance of structured and efficient training of our employees. We also allow current employees to pursue outside training of new skills and continued education to grow in their capacities.

The Heartland has emerged as a second Silicon Valley, or as it was named “Silicon Prairie,” this has attracted numerous entrepreneurs to invest in the area, and has opened up opportunities for new start-up companies, creating a wave of people moving into the Midwest. The growth in job opportunities has also incentivized people from the Midwest to stay close to home, allowing our company to hire new people or retain talent that we know will be staying with us for the long run. We also benefit from the work ethics that make people from the Midwest so special.

With the booming of venture capitals comes an increased need for skilled labor. With a lower population than other parts of the country, finding the right candidates with the necessary experience and skills can be challenging. Apex has faced this challenge many times; in an industry with heavy automation, we require employees with the right set of skills to run our machines. “We’re heavy on maintenance and technical people,” said Damon Neff, President at Apex Plastics. “Our goal is to make sure our operators have the right training to run the equipment properly, and the right skills to guarantee product made with the best quality control.”

When it comes to recruiting, we have implemented different techniques depending on the job we are trying to fill. We have sent staff to recruit at local Trade schools and Universities. We have also used radio ads and professional listings.

If you have any questions about our company’s services and capabilities, please visit us at or call us at 1- 800-467-4640, and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to help.


Brown, K (2020). Trade-school students find work opportunities during pandemic: ‘They’re doing us proud.’ Retrieved from:

MidWest US-China Association (2015). The Midwest The Premier Place to do Business. Retrieved from:

Varshneya, R. (2017). 5 Reasons a Move to the Midwest Might Be Good for Your Business. Retrieved from: