Next generation wood industry managers confront workforce issues
June 22, 2017 | 2:33 pm UTC

How to attract talent to the wood manufacturing industries, and keep new-hires satisfied, is an issue being confronted by next generation managers. 

Challenges include reshaping corporate culture, interfacing to customers, and facilitating the adoption of new technologies that are encapsulated in the concepts of Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing. 

In a session on July 18 at the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum,  "Changing Workforce: 40 Under 40s Take Charge," top level managers from drawn from winners of the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Award winners will share their perspective on hiring and retention of talent, and the competitive landscape the wood industry faces.

Moderated by Dean Mattson, director of the new MiLL National Training Center, this prequel to the evening Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards program (sponsored this year by Stiles) will poll some of the industry’s best and brightest rising talent. You'll learn how differently they think, and pain points they encounter as they try to change their organizations, and their industry. 

On the panel are (from left):• Jon Wenger, CEO of Genesis Products; • Tyler Bell, VP Marketing & Sales, Bellmont Cabinets; • Jonathan Zublena, Marketing Manager, Sauder Woodworking; • Moderated by  Dean Mattson, Director, the MiLL.

The event, part of the day-long Leadership Forum, will be followed by the Leadership Reception and the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards presentations. All of it takes place July 18, the day prior to AWFS Fair, at the same venue as the show - the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Register and save at the Early Bird rate of $299 until June 30 ($350 after) at>> 


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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.