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Indiana gets WIRED to think outside assembly line
Marydell Forbes, Purdue University News Service
Posted on Saturday, December 16 2006

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The U.S. Department of Labor and Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program will place an increased emphasis in 2007 on helping Indiana manufacturers develop innovative business strategies to remain globally competitive.

To spearhead these efforts, the program recently hired Christy Bozic as its manager of business innovation. The U.S. Department of Labor's new initiative, called Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development, will fund the position for the first three years.

"WIRED breaks the mold for the Department of Labor by providing flexible funding," said project administrator Mark Smith. "Investments in the program stimulate regional collaborations on economic and work force development. This expansion of services will accelerate modernization among Indiana's manufacturers, which is a key component of our strategy."

Dave McKinnis, Technical Assistance Program director, said Bozic will bring manufacturers together with experts in a variety of fields to find solutions to industry challenges.

"Christy will be responsible for helping manufacturers with product development, manufacturing processes, supply-chain development, strategy development, business management and other related issues," McKinnis said. "She also will work closely with economic development leaders, work force development organizations, governmental offices and university contacts to help companies create and implement their plans for innovative practices."

Bozic, whose office is located in the Inventrek Technology Park in Kokomo, Ind., will assist manufacturers in 14 counties in north-central Indiana. She said the experience of having customers from her previous position that were directly affected by the shutdown of a facility in Auburn, Ind. will help her assess companies' needs and problem solve.

"Having been through a manufacturing decline and shutdown, I hope to take some of the lessons I learned and help other Indiana manufacturers be more competitive," Bozic said. "It will be nice to do something to prevent that from happening to another company."

Bozic said she will travel extensively to help companies network and set up brainstorming teams.

"The biggest mistake companies make is thinking that they have to move oversees to reduce cost," Bozic said. "There are new, innovative ways to use the incumbent work force. Retraining and keeping new graduates in-state are key."

Bozic most recently worked as business manager of Kimball Electronics Group in Jasper, Ind., for whom she directed sales of printed circuit board and electronic assemblies for medical, industrial and automotive customers. Previous experience includes serving as the business account manager for TDK Corp. of America in Indianapolis, at which she sold electronic components.

Bozic graduated from Purdue in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology and industrial distribution. She earned a master's in business administration from Butler University in 2001.


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