It amazes us that there are still manufacturers in the region that don’t know about WIRE NET. The non-profit organization is a wealth of resources and information for the region’s burgeoning manufacturing sector providing networking opportunities, access to labor-related resources, and discounts on a variety of products and services including energy, Grainger products and supplies, shipping, safety, and training.
Open to all manufacturers and related businesses, WIRE NET specifically targets companies in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake, Medina, Geauga, Portage, and Summit counties.
Founded in 1988 as the Westside Industrial Retention & Expansion Network and incorporated as a 501 (c)(3), WIRE NET is an instrumental part of the Northeast Ohio manufacturing community leading and assisting with regional programs such as Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing, the Cleveland Industrial Retention Initiative, and the Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN).
WIRE NET also provides apprenticeship opportunities for adults and internship programs for students attending the Max Hayes High School which has a focus on manufacturing and technology.
Networking and educational meetings are held throughout the year which are very well attended covering a wide variety of topics including things like network security, business analytics, policy and procedures, human resources, marketing and social media, leadership, and much more. They also provide lunch and learn forums featuring successful local manufacturers to share in their stories with advice for their peers. Plant tours are conducted almost every month allowing you to get a closer look at the innovation happening inside manufacturing plants throughout the region.
Lastly, the organization hosts several marquee events including their annual meeting (possibly the largest gathering of manufacturers in the region annually), a membership picnic in the Summer, and two networking events which act as fundraisers for the organization’s charitable outreach – a Golf Outing in early Summer and a charity dinner called Nuts & Bolts in the Fall.
Membership fees are extremely affordable starting at just $195 for smaller manufacturers with up to 10 employees with a max of $1,495 for larger manufacturers with over 150 employees. Make sure to contact the organization for details as membership fees may change from the time this article was written.
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