Labor shortage: How is it impacting firms like yours?
February 13, 2019 | 9:44 pm CST

Photo By Genesis Products, Inc.

EBC sponsors a
Workforce Development Webinar on February 26, 2019

The lack of skilled and unskilled labor is among the most dominant issues plaguing the wood manufacturing industry. Low unemployment rates, rural shop locations, and millennial low interest and work ethic are just a few of the causes, according to many wood product executives. 
During a February 26 webinar on Workforce Development, editors from Woodworking Network will present the results of a just-completed survey on Workforce Development in the wood industry. Participants were asked about their experiences, good or bad, in finding candidates - and in managing and retaining them - once hired. Initial results of an ongoing survey show that generational differences among employees lead to conflicts in the shop, as older managers and workers approach their jobs differently.  
FDMC magazine Editor-in-Chief Will Sampson and WWN Daily Brief Editor Robert Dalheim will discuss the survey results and field questions and comments from the audience. This webinar, sponsored by the 2019 Executive Briefing Conference, is expected to shine a light on the seemingly intractable problems of finding workers. Industry educators and human resource managers are facing a challenging situation on the workforce front.  
"For the first time in modern history, the manufacturing industry consists of four different generations spanning over almost 70 years," notes Thomas Allott (left), who manages Stiles University, the industry supplier's educational arm.
"Due to a lack of generational collaboration, our industry is faced with several challenges including lower employee retention rates, increased tribal knowledge, and decreased productivity." Allott, who will present his assessment of "Generational Differences" at the 2019 Executive Briefing Conference (April 14-16 in San Jose, California), says we have to resist "the temptation to blame other generations for the current challenges within our industry." 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.