Eleven associations have formed the Wood Industry Resource Collaborative, charged with finding solutions for retaining and attracting employees.
“Everyone is talking about recruiting and retaining employees today. That’s the number one issue,” says Philip Bibeau, executive director of the Wood Products Manufacturers Association, a coalition member.
“U.S. manufacturing companies have to make themselves attractive to the workforce of today’s generation, which is very different from any other workforce we’ve ever had. They want technology, and once they’ve done something once they want to move on. What the WIRC program is trying to do is get the woodworking industry out in front of the upcoming workforce so they can see that the industry is attractive, and they can make a decent salary.”
The primary target is Generation Z, or those born between 1995 and 2014.
“The coalition is working to identify what each association brings to the table, and what each association needs for their members to change corporate culture and attract and retain good employees,” added Adria Salvatore, education director of the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers, a coalition member.
Other members are the Architectural Woodwork Institute; Cabinet Makers Association; Hardwood Manufacturers Association; North American Building Material Distribution Association; National Wood Flooring Association; Wood Component Manufacturers Association; Woodworking Machinery Industry Association; Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, and Moulding & Millwork Producers Association.
For more, visit www.woodindustryed.org/wirc.
This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.