By Meg Moss
Mertek Solutions Inc. has been selected for the Triangle South Workforce Development Board’s 2020 Outstanding Local Area Business/Employer Award. “TSWDB is responsible for planning, policy guidance, and oversight of the workforce investment system in Chatham, Harnett, Lee, and Sampson Counties. Its goal is to combine area employment, training and supportive services and programs into a consumer-based, market-driven system that meets the needs of job seekers and employers” according to its website.
A press release from TSWDB goes on to talk about Mertek as a leader in not only advanced manufacturing, but also in workforce development. The company has worked to increase awareness of manufacturing careers among students and regularly collaborates with NCWorks and other partners in economic development and education.
Mertek Solutions Inc. has been a leader in local and state workforce development for 31 years. Mertek, driven by founder Jerry Pedley, is a leader in the advanced manufacturing sector in our local area making a positive impact around the world. Their motto, “We Make Stuff”, describes their creative problem solving in automation design which is the company’s core competency.
TSWDB goes on in their press release to state that Mertek maintains comprehensive involvement with Career Pathways in Advanced Manufacturing by supporting the National Manufacturing Day efforts by hosting the annual Marque Manufacturing Day Event. Pedley gets excited about promoting Manufacturing Day. In fact, he opens his business doors to over 900 local and neighboring high school and college students each year so that they can see they wonderful things about working in manufacturing.
Year after year, Mertek maintains leadership roles in the workforce system efforts with high levels of engagement with the workforce board and the community college. Mertek also works collaboratively with the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, NCWorks, the Central Carolina Community College Education & Workforce Development Committee, Leadership Sanford, Lee County Schools Business Advisory Council, Campbell University Engineering, Wake Tech, and the Advisory Board of NC Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Beyond its involvement in all the major workforce initiatives throughout the community, Mertek has developed an In-House Apprenticeship Program to meet the growing demand for highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce. The company is continually scouting potential talent and encouraging individuals with disabilities, youth, dislocated workers, and veterans to join the company and take advantage of the benefits of their Apprenticeship Program, which includes tuition reimbursement for manufacturing related training. Mertek Solutions, Inc. is one of the strongest 21st Century manufacturing leaders and has always been willing to help build and strengthen our community.
This award is one of many that Mertek and Pedley have received over the years. In 2018, Pedley received the Chamber Dedicated Service Award by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce. He has been described as “one of the most involved and knowledgeable members of the curriculum’s team,” in regards to serving on several Advisory Boards at Central Carolina Community College. Also in 2018, he was one of just three US business leaders recognized by the National Academy Foundation for providing educational opportunities for high school and college students.
In addition to all of the accolades mentioned already, Pedley is simply a great business man. In December 2017, Mertek was named Small Business of the Year by Business North Carolina.
In my humble opinion, TSWDB made a great choice in honoring Mertek. Once again, Pedley puts Sanford on the map for being a stellar employer and company in our local area.
*portions of this article come directly from the TSWDB Press Release regarding Mertek’s Award