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. 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, HTI was able to continue onboarding new employees that were essential to our operations, and we made sure to follow the local Direct Health Measurements (DHM) and provide proper work and safety training. This pandemic has presented many challenges to the manufacturing sector, that are crucial to the economy for producing essential products, for that reason, different areas of the Midwest have opened up opportunities for Trade-school students to find work opportunities during the pandemic (Brown, 2020).

At HTI, we do not stop at just hiring the right person for the job; we also give them the proper training and tools necessary to help them become the right person for the job. We understand the importance of structured and efficient training of our employees. That is why we have invested in our training program, with a training manager, and added a state-of-the-art training room in our recent building expansion.

Our company also allows current employees to pursue outside training of new skills and continued education. “We’ve put in a conscious effort of truly training and developing employees, making sure they have more internal opportunities to where we’re promoting from within,” said Troy Just, President at HTI Plastics.

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 unique.

HTI Production

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. HTI has also faced the same challenge many times, being 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 Tee Welton, Director of Operations. “Our goal is to develop a training program for automation, to make our operators more technical, so they can properly run the equipment.”

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

If you have any questions about our services and capabilities, please visit us at or call us at 1- 800-824-0607, 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: