40 Under 40 winner Greg Pilotti, owner and operator of Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers, will take control of the Woodworking Network Instagram page February 7, giving us a first-hand look at his custom furniture shop.
Pilotti has been running his successful custom furniture and casegood business in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania for his entire career - and he’s only 28. He's a winner of the prestigious 2017 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 program, which honors the next generation of woodworkers likely to make an impact on the wood products manufacturing industry in North America.
A true entrepreneur, Pilotti built his company from the ground up - producing heirloom quality furniture with the finest of materials. A sign in his shop reads: "Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't."
Young enough to be in touch with the mindset and expectations of the incoming generation of workers, at Wood Pro Expo Charlotte, Pilotti will share his insights and the techniques he uses to attract and hold young workers in the field - including outreach through social media.
"A lot of people tell me that they can even find applicants for jobs," Pilotti says. "I have two or three people lined up for every opening." But that's only half the battle, he notes.
"You have to be willing to work with them and understand their expectations if you want to keep them," Pilotti says.
Pilotti's passion for the industry and his conviction that it is a great career path is also conveyed by his continued relationship with his alma mater, where he is also teaching some classes.
Pilotti's presentation is on February 14, as part of the Business Operations track at the Charlotte WoodPro Expo. Charlotte is also home to Piedmont College, which offers educational programs tailored to woodworking and to general manufacturing. The school has also developed an award-winning Apprenticeship 2000 program with area manufacturers, including hardware maker Blum. Following Pilotti's presentation, attendees will board buses to visit Blum in nearby Stanley, North Carolina, where they will see the manufacturing center, including the apprenticeship program.
All the action begins February 7. Be sure to tune in to our story! Check out Woodworking Network's Instagram here.