A connected learning community
Manufacturing students and faculty consistently seek ways to engage in new learning opportunities and network with the business community.
The 2021 Gregg Sherrill Manufacturing Case Competition
The Center for Excellence in Manufacturing holds the Gregg Sherrill Manufacturing Case Competition annually. In spring of 2021, 36 students from nine schools in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan presented their analyses to six judges from leading manufacturers with a case focused on “second chance” hiring at a company called Nehemiah Manufacturing.
In 2009, Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer founded Nehemiah Manufacturing to build fast-moving consumer goods brands in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shortly thereafter, Nehemiah hired their first “second-chance” convicted felon, an experiment that has come to define the company. Today, Nehemiah's factory floor, as well as various supervisory and management positions, are staffed by ex-offenders.
Questions the students grappled with included:
• Should Nehemiah grow as fast as its business opportunities, or should it expand only as quickly as it could incorporate second-chancers?
• What is the right balance between labor and automation?
• Can “second-chance” hiring be replicated in other businesses and communities?
The student team from Wayne State University placed first.