Managers in wood manufacturing businesses across the country are having trouble filling job openings.

Reflecting that situation is the number of jobs posted at WoodworkingNetwork’s career site, up 25%, to well over 500 any given day. But the traffic to these available positions has slowed. That suggests people have found jobs, and are already working, just as more job openings are begging to be filled.

For woodworking businesses, the longer term solution is to attract more young people to enter the field. But that takes years, and faces an uncertain outcome. To get young people into the wood manufacturing employment pipeline we must coax students into technology studies and chart their employment course afterward.

A Labor Solution for Now
But the work is at hand now, delivery dates loom, and the bustling economy has a “use by” freshness date that will pass in a couple years. The solution? More technology – not only machinery, but new technology in materials, parts, and software applications.

American corporations slashed capital spending in the downturn, more than 20% by one measure. Not a problem when labor was cheap.

But labor costs are rising for the reasons cited above. And the only solution for that is to add technology to reduce the labor factor in the jobs that you are producing. At this point we are planning our trip to IWF 2014, and you should be too.

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