Manufacturing Symposium held in Cleveland


A panel hosts a discussion on manufacturing companies dealing with their workforce at the PIE Innovation Center in Cleveland during the Peak Performance Symposium.

CLEVELAND, TN (WDEF) – Makers gathered in Bradley County on Friday to celebrate Maker Month. Manufacturing industry leaders discussed the modern challenges of running a business in the modern workplace at the Smart Factory Institute’s 8th Annual Peak Performance Symposium.

One of the topics discussed was the importance of treating labor fairly in a more demanding job market. Denise Rice, president and owner of Peak Performance, Inc., the organization behind the symposium, said it was an important discussion to have. She pointed out that “Many manufacturers are really struggling to attract and retain the good workers they need and to fill those positions. The discussion we had today was that it would take a number of different approaches and strategies because there are a lot of different populations and what they need for a job in manufacturing.

These discussions and the presence of the PIE Center are part of the leaders’ hopes that the manufacturing industry will continue to grow. Rice added that “Here in this region, in the Bradley County area and in the Greater Chattanooga area, manufacturing is growing and we are thrilled to have this resource available to us. We are in an old manufacturing building that has been renovated. It will not only house industry, but will also house a school and encompass services needed by students and the community.

The Smart Factory Institute will host a conference in December where the University of Tennessee will present research. To learn more about their work, visit


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