InvestUP leads talent enhancement initiative for Connor Sports Flooring’s Amasa mill

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Iconic flooring manufacturer hires 38 and increases sales by 48% during Q1-2018 and production by 15 percent in key value-added market for the U.P. forest products industry.

AMASA, Michigan (July 16, 2018) Big things are happening in Amasa, a town of 283 people in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Connor Sports Flooring, a Gerflor company with a hardwood mill based in Amasa, recently collaborated with Invest UP on a talent enhancement initiative that resulted in an employee base increase from 113 to 151 plus 10 temporary employees.

 Connor Sports is a supplier of performance basketball courts for professional basketball teams and collegiate arenas, fieldhouses, and events.  As Official Court of the NCAA® Men’s and Women’s Final Four®, the company has grown a national reputation and regional pride in the Upper Peninsula for the superior quality of its product sourced from northern hard maple.

Invest UP was created by U.P.  business and education leaders in October, 2017 for the purpose of providing proactive leadership to achieve economic prosperity across the Upper Peninsula through measurable talent enhancement, business advancement, and business attraction initiatives and by promoting the Upper Peninsula’s economic value proposition.

As a result of the organization’s initial outreach to U.P. businesses and local economic development partners such as the Iron County Economic Chamber Alliance Invest UP recognized the critical challenge Connor Sports was facing in fulfilling employment capacity to meet demand and realize growth opportunity. Invest UP immediately gathered a team of experienced experts to consult with Connor Sports and Gerflor executives on a plan to tailor the company’s human resources plan for the regional workforce. Members of this team included the Iron County Economic Chamber Alliance, Governor Rick Snyder’s office, relevant state agencies (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Michigan Works!), and Stang Decision Systems, a regional talent recruiting company.  The resulting strategy included fresh recruitment procedures and led to the hiring of 54 new employees within four months.

 “Driven by Invest UP, community leaders and government resources worked hard to help us solve our biggest business problem,” said Loïc Cheynet, CEO of Gerflor USA.  “They accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time. With an expanded workforce, we increased production by 48%.  And we’re continuing to create jobs in the Upper Peninsula.”

Invest UP board member and Interim Director Karyn Olsson adds, “This is a perfect example of the power of partnership. We have some brilliant business minds here in the U.P. They saw a challenge, identified a solution, and then worked together to get it done.”

Connor Sports envisions continued growth on the horizon. The company has invested in new training programs and offers incentives based on operational performance, strategies designed to strengthen and motivate its existing workforce and attract new talent. The company will maintain its partnership with Invest UP as it looks forward to further expanding its U.P. operations.

About Connor Sports:

Founded in 1872, Connor Sports® is the leader in hardwood sports flooring and is a preferred provider to the NCAA®, NBA, FIBA and other organizations. Connor Sports is a part of the Gerflor® company. Gerflor’s cutting-edge technology, history of innovation and design-forward products as an international leader in the flooring industry provides Connor Sports with global scope and enhanced research and technology. The Gerflor portfolio also includes Sport Court® and Taraflex® brands. Connor Sports has a proven commitment to sustainability with an excellent environmental record in responsible forestry including use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials and is the only flooring company with an Environmental Product Declaration. The company’s manufacturing facility in Amasa, MI is independently-audited and compliant with ISO 14001 standards.  To learn more about Connor Sports please visit: http://www.connorsports.com/overview. To inquire about employment with Connor Sports, please visit: http://www.connorsports.com/employment

About Invest UP:

Invest UP is a privately-funded non-profit organization that provides proactive leadership to achieve economic prosperity across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Invest UP measures success through its four strategic objectives: Promoting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; Talent Enhancement; Business Advancement; and Business Attraction. To learn more about Invest UP, visit: https://investupmi.com/

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