Can you give us a little background on your journey with D Byers & Associates?

EZG Manufacturing was experiencing some growth, but D Byers helped accelerate that growth through building a team, helping to understand how different personalities could work better together on a team to drive sales, and setting an example of business development and hunting for new accounts.  Sales grew tremendously with the infrastructure and programs developed with D Byers.

What were the challenges you were facing that made you want to seek out consulting services?

We are constantly seeking improvement opportunities in spite of record sales and performance.  We feel that consultants bring a different perspective and new light to operations.  This fresh perspective can drive operations to a new level of success.

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Can you give me a little background on yourself and how your journey with D Byers & Associates began? 

I’m president of WVU at Parkersburg and I met Dorinda through a mutual friend, Michele Wilson. She and Dorinda had partnered on a number of projects over the years. I wasn’t actively seeking services, but I wanted to meet Dorinda because she came highly recommended and evaluated needs or services we may need in the future.

How long have you been working with D Byers & Associates?

About 2 years. My presidency has been 3 years and the first project we did together was sometime during my second year.

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Can you give me a little background on yourself and your company?

My name is Hrishue Mahalaha. My organization is called Innovation Economy Partners. We are an economic and community development partner/advisory consulting firm. We work with a variety of communities across the country with a primary focus in rural America, and there’s a variety of technology and consulting services that we have that we think help our partners quite well.

What were the challenges you were facing that made you want to seek out consulting services?

It was an evolving relationship that continues to evolve. I found out about Dorinda because we had common interests and we do similar work.

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Featured Project

The Appalachian Ohio Manufacturers’ Coalition


The Appalachian Ohio Manufacturers’ Coalition (AOMC), a southeast Ohio regional manufacturing sector partnership, set a primary goal of building a comprehensive directory of manufacturing companies in order to identify and understand critical manufacturing competency demands supporting sustainability and growth of manufacturing. Believing that strong competencies support all levels of career successes in manufacturing…obtaining factual data supporting their regional needs was key in making data-driving decisions. This consolidated data would express with “one-voice” the gaps in training infrastructure, regional data mapping voids, needed collaboration…and allow planning regarding where the highest impact toward the future workforce pipeline development can occur.


Research was completed into the region’s labor market and manufacturing base. A directory of manufacturing companies and contacts was created and an overview of the region’s labor market was developed. The labor market and regional manufacturing data was used to inform drafting of a survey. AOMC reviewed the survey and provided feedback to better tailor this unique competency-needs-based survey to achieve desired outcomes. The survey was administered in conjunction with company interviews to drive survey completion. Key insights were obtained regarding current and on-coming manufacturing workforce challenges.


The survey was administered to 125 companies and 58 responses were received. A Survey Report was created and disseminated. The AOMC region now has a manufacturing directory of interested partners that are willing to share information at a regional level. AOMC also has relevant, objective, timely, and accurate labor market information. The survey also determined and quantified key manufacturer needs and priorities. And, a basis has been provided to strengthen career pathways and guide skill attainment with education and training providers for manufacturing job preparation, economic opportunity, and industry sustainability and growth.


“Identifying the demand job competencies/skills, rather than the number of specific jobs expected to be added, is key in workforce pipeline development. Typical job demand surveys seek information related to the number of expected entry hires and does not consider the high forecast for experienced replacement workers that is facing all manufacturers. Competency demands increase greatly at various career levels, with a higher expectation of job-ready performance (competencies). Simultaneously, the demand for advanced manufacturing efficiencies increases competency demands across all careers. There continues to be a competency attainment/measurement gap through training and education entities. Identifying competency attainment through quality assessment systems will greatly strengthen successful workforce on-boarding opportunities. Moving to a competency-demand survey removes all the vague job classifications and brings the core work performance and abilities back to the key focus.”

—Solvay Specialty Polymers, Marietta, OH

The Flex Factor Success Story


The Southeast Ohio region makes up almost one-third of Ohio’s land mass and has a population of over 1 million people spread over 25 counties.  The Southeast Ohio region is a manufacturing hub. Companies and work force in the region have concentrations in metals, polymers and petrochemicals, hardwood products, food processing, heavy truck assembly, auto components, energy production, logistics and back-office operations. The region’s six varied industry sectors produce raw materials, root materials, supply chain components and finished consumer products for more than 30 Fortune 500 companies and international businesses from 21 countries.   Yet, the Southeast Ohio region lacked a comprehensive manufacturing career awareness program.


Various manufacturing career awareness programs and models were researched from across the country.  An asset map of the region was completed to document current programming and to evaluate potential partners in manufacturing career awareness program.  A needs assessment was conducted with community colleges, secondary school districts, community partners, and employers to determine interest in implementing a program.  The NextFlex FlexFactor and Flex2Future programs were selected as being the best fit for the region.


Along with Southeast Ohio Tech Prep, we engaged Lorain County Community College to bring more than $420,000 in federal grant funding to the region to support FlexFactor program license, training and implementation costs.  The Southeast Ohio Tech Prep Center was secured as an implementation and delivery partner for the FlexFactor and program.  FlexFactor has launched throughout Southeast Ohio in partnership with 7 community colleges, 23 employers, 11 community stakeholders, and 13 secondary school districts.  At least 1,400 students will be served in the first two years of the program with a potential to impact 105 school districts and nearly 40,000 students over the life of the project.


“We have successfully leveraged FlexFactor to engage middle and high school students in exploring advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship throughout Appalachian Ohio.  FlexFactor brings together the entire workforce ecosystem to expose students to career and educational pathways while teaching essential employability skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and communication skills.  FlexFactor supports Tech Prep as we prepare successful graduates for successful careers and learning opportunities that match their interests, skill sets, and needs of the community.  We couldn’t be more pleased to offer this program throughout our region in partnership with D Byers & Associates, Lorain County Community College, and NextFlex.”

—Katie Good, Southeast Ohio Tech Prep Director

Success Stories


Strategic plans are developed to guide future growth, development, and investment. Doing this requires taking stock of existing resources, articulating strengths and weaknesses and considering how an organization has grown and succeeded as well as challenges the organization faces. A critical part of the strategic planning process involves evaluating if choices and priorities are consistent with stakeholder goals as well as understanding trade-offs associated with different actions.

Artsbridge contacted D Byers to complete a strategic plan to:

  • Identify stakeholder priorities and perceptions regarding Artsbridge and its offerings
  • Establish organizational goals and objectives to address stakeholder needs
  • Refine organizational vision and substantiate with projects, programs and investments



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WVUP Needs Assessment

Needs assessments are conducted to identify, inform, and select the right priorities to invest in with limited resources.

WVUP contacted D Byers to complete a comprehensive needs assessment to:

  • Engage stakeholders
  • Define stakeholder perspectives on WVUP and its offerings
  • Illuminate needs of local residents
  • Offer recommendations for improvement

Our needs assessment outlined industry demand and alignment, stakeholder perspectives on community engagement, and regional needs and challenges to inform strategic and programmatic decisions for West Virginia University-Parkersburg as it looks to continue to positively impact the region.




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Additional Testimonials

WVU Parkersburg’s Workforce and Economic Development division has been a part of an invaluable relationship with D Byers & Associates over the past several years. This has provided us with a reliable asset to be able to better serve local business and industry in ways we previously could not, because we did not always have the resources locally to provide solutions.  D Byers & Associates has an extensive network of experienced trainers and experts ready to assist in providing learning opportunities essential to maintaining high workforce productivity.  In addition, we’ve also helped provide D Byers & Associates with proven, experienced trainers that we have helped develop, that assure the training solutions she provides are of the highest quality. So, If I am in need of a dependable resource for training and subject matter experts, D Byers and Associates is a resource I feel confident in reaching out to.”

Michelle Wilson

Dean, Workforce & Economic Development
West Virginia University at Parkersburg

D Byers & Associates has been a strong partner with Chamberlin Dunn.  Their support has been invaluable on a large project for our firm.  We have appreciated their positive energy, ability to quickly establish rapport and connection with project interviewees, practitioner focus, responsiveness, and strong consultative approach.  They have been invaluable providing local boots on the ground expertise which allowed us to secure future contracts on this project.  We strongly endorse D Byers to other consulting firms who may need supplementary support on an as needed basis for projects. “

Nicole Dunn

Director and Co-Founder
Chamberlin + Dunn

D Byers & Associates is a go-to organizational development resource for us. We have partnered with them for training, coaching, and assessments to develop our talent. Each service has been tailored to our specific needs and culture. We have appreciated their focus on practical application, hands-on, relevant activities, and ability to quickly establish rapport and connection with our employees.”

Mary So

Director of Safety and Employee Development
George J. Igel & Co., Inc.

Let’s move forward together.

We offer a consultative approach that allows us to truly listen to an organization’s needs and craft a plan that helps them achieve their goals.

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