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POWER LIST HONOREES


 

 

The home builders featured in this Power List are doing their part in making the housing inventory more equitable. Power List honorees are chosen in a purely subjective process by researching our home builders list and the internet, and is by no means scientific.

 

 


 

Andrea Rawl

SC Manufacturers Alliance

Title: Executive Director, SC Automotive Council
Years in the home building industry: 1

1. How are manufacturers addressing workforce challenges, and what role do you think automation will play in the workforce?
Like many states, South Carolina’s tight labor market has created significant challenges for all types of employers in attracting employees. For manufacturers, this is especially true for higher-skilled occupations such as maintenance, engineering, welding, and production. We’re seeing more manufacturers engaging community resources available through the SC Technical College System, workforce agencies, and the local K-12 school system. At SCMA, our SC Future Makers initiative is proactive in assisting manufacturers in connecting with emerging talent throughout South Carolina. The workforce challenges we’re currently facing will not be solved overnight, so we continue to work diligently to encourage manufacturers to be proactive in their local communities, tell the story about the great careers they have to offer, and continue to actively recruit talent coming out of the high schools and college.

The adoption of more automation in the manufacturing process will assist in some aspects of addressing the current challenges of finding workers but is not a silver bullet for solving this issue. Yes, automation alleviates the need for many individuals to do certain tasks, but the operation, maintenance, and support required to sustain the function of this technology requires skilled individuals to be at the helm. That’s why it’s so important for manufacturers to tell and show the stories of the amazing technology they use every day, show the paths necessary to gain the skills required to excess in this type of environment, and be proactive in directly recruiting individuals to these great opportunities.

2. How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?
It is an exciting time to be in the manufacturing industry, specifically especially in the mobility market and industry. We haven’t seen such a drastic change in technology for a particular market since the development and introduction of the automobile. And the major changes aren’t just happening at the OEM level, the supplier network is having to adopt innovations that make their products lighter, stronger, and more environmentally sustainable. With the adoption of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and electrification, there’s likely going to be a greater need for R&D and production to work closer than ever. This collaboration is exciting because it will require a more advanced technology-driven approach to improve efficiency and the production process. Manufacturing has always been the industry that literally invents the future, and the work being done today in the adoption of new smart manufacturing processes will lead to the creation of products that will continue to improve our quality of life.

How do you manage a workforce that may be struggling with adapting to fast-paced change in the industry due to technology?
Manufacturing is continuously changing and adopting new technologies, so most individuals currently employed in this industry are very skilled and have the agility necessary to evolve with the responsibilities of the job. Many of the companies we work with have plans in place to provide upskill training to associates when needed, and if not, there are so many wonderful workforce programs available throughout South Carolina that can assist with training. What’s great about our state’s manufacturing and workforce communities is that we share best practices and have a great network of resources available to support changes in the workforce.

4. How do you unwind after a busy day of work? 
As a proud mother of two very active boys, I stay on the run with activities. Most days I am at the baseball field, football field, basketball gym, or golf course with one of them – so there’s little time to truly unwind, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.


 

Aundrea Wilson

Boeing

Title: Senior Director; 787 Manufacturing
Years in the home building industry: 23

How have you addressed the manufacturing labor shortage, and what role does automation play in solving production challenges?
Boeing is always hiring, and I’m in thrilled that there continues to be interest among South Carolinians in the manufacturing workforce. Over the course of 2022, our workforce grew by nearly 1000 teammates. And thanks to great partnerships with schools like Trident Tech, we are able to employ high school and college interns and apprentices.

When it comes to automation, I wouldn’t say that it is solving production challenges. Rather our teammates work closely with automation to make the manufacturing process safer and more efficient. In our production environment, automation assists our teammates with strenuous and challenging tasks that would be tedious or ergonomically challenging for people to perform. In addition, most of our automation requires human intervention and wouldn’t be able to work accurately without our skilled teammates’ oversight.

How will smart manufacturing affect the future of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry?
At Boeing, safety, quality and innovation are at the forefront of everything we do. I believe technology will help the manufacturing industry become even safer, more effective and efficient, and make the business more agile. Data is already at our finger tips, and it’s just going to become more accessible as technology develops.

How do you manage a workforce that may be struggling with adapting to fast-paced change in the industry due to technology?
As I mentioned before, the pacing of change is important to a manufacturing workforce. However, it’s our current workforce and the future workforce that are steering the direction of manufacturing industry. Technology is helping manufacturing become safer and more efficient, and it is attracting an innovative workforce, making the jobs competitive.

What is the biggest challenge with developing a digital transformation strategy, and how do you overcome it?
In my experience, people, in general, are resistant to change. So, as the industry embraces new technologies, I believe it’s important to make changes at a pace that teammates are comfortable with, and in a way that they are able to see how those changes benefit them and the team. I consistently work to keep my teammates engaged and informed throughout the transformation process, and allow them time to adapt, one step at a time.