Even with all the incentives and pressure to keep up with volume, these jobs are not temporary, Jordan says.
"It's for the foreseeable future - with that moving incentive we show we are willing to invest in our employees. There is a big demand for established cabinetmakers than can build reception desks for a hospital, or for Corian fabricators, and for installers - who are an entirely different breed."
Industrywide. the search for workers is the leading problem for wood products firms. Last year a consortium of associations formed the Wood Industry Research Collaborative, aiming to work not on hiring GenX or Millennial employees, but on positioning woodworking jobs as an appealing career choice for the generation after that - Generation Z. Those in Gen Z are born between 1995 and 2014 and are the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.S. Fifty-five percent are Caucasian, 24 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are African-American and 4 percent are Asian. In addition to that youngest generation, the group will also reach out to millennials and possibly Gen Xers (parents).
At the upcoming Executive Briefing Conference in San Jose, the relationship between workforce and technology is a continuous theme of presenters. Personnel recruitment and retention are cited as the number one challenge confronting managers now. Danielle Clark, Director, Talent Development at Adobe, will talk about strategies her firm uses to realize the potential of its people, getting the most from its workforce in one of the most competitive markets in the world. Also speaking is Thomas Allott, manager of Stiles University, a wood industry education organization.
"For the first time in modern history, the manufacturing industry consists of four different generations spanning over almost 70 years," says Allott. "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 will address these issues during an EBC dinner presentation April 15.
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