New career awareness campaign promotes wood industry
January 27, 2021 | 3:53 pm CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Wood Industry Resource Collaborative has announced the launch of their industry-wide career awareness campaign, “You Wood.”

Attracting young people to careers in the wood industry has long been a challenge.

Developed by several industry trade associations led by AWFS, WMIA, and WMMA, in partnership with Nashville-based Industrial Strength Marketing, the WIRC campaign aims to communicate wood industry career pathways and attract new talent. The WIRC You Wood website is now live.

The “You Wood” campaign features a website with career resource information, including profiles of high-demand positions, career quizzes, links to educational resources like schools and scholarships, industry information, and an events calendar. The site will be continually updated, and features will be added, including career pathway information, and custom video content and spotlights on industry professionals.

“This campaign is the culmination of over three years of communication, research, and hard work,” says WMMA chief executive officer Fred Stringfellow. “Companies in the industry are still struggling to find skilled workers as they grow to meet demand. We are excited to launch this campaign as a way to increase awareness; and to expand the pool of candidates for our future workforce.”

The campaign is geared towards two audiences: high school students and those in their mid-20s to late 30s who are seeking a career change, including military veterans. WIRC conducted a survey of these audiences in early 2020 and found that over 70 percent of all respondents had no awareness of wood industry careers; however, 23 percent would consider a career in the wood industry.

“We realize how critical it is to increase awareness of our industry and the career opportunities which exist for both students and those seeking a career change where they can utilize skills they’ve already developed in the workplace,” said WMIA president and CEO Larry Hoffer. “It is our objective that the You Wood website will serve as a portal for those unfamiliar with the wood industry to learn more and begin exploration of their wood industry-related career journey.”

“We hope that members of the wood industry will embrace this website and use it as their own,” said Adria Salvatore, AWFS assistant executive director, education. “This site is a step towards a sustainable skilled talent pipeline for our industry. We look forward to continuing the work and expanding opportunities and resources for employers and job seekers.”

Officially founded in 2018, the charter members of WIRC agreed to the following goals and identified those influencers who can effectively drive interest in the wood industry as a career path (parents, teachers, social media, and financial resources):

-- Attract Employees: Increase student and career-seeker awareness of wood industry careers; increase parent awareness of wood industry careers; increase student engagement; and increase High School counselor awareness of wood industry careers.

-- Retain Employees: Increase association memberships; improve association member engagement and satisfaction; and improve work culture at member companies.

-- Improve the Perception of the Industry: Develop and communicate the stories of the industry; increase positive media coverage; increase engagement with legislative and educator communities; and involve more associations in WIRC initiatives.

The campaign media will drive to these targeted landing pages based on audience: Teenage Audience: https://youwood.com/wood-industry-passion/; Young Professional Audience: https://youwood.com/wood-industry-right-job/

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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected]