Metal Center News

JAN 2018

Metal Center services the metal center and toll processor industry.

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als and fabricated metal products industry are age 55 or older. And as these baby boomers start to retire, there simply aren't enough qualified candidates to fill the ranks. Combined, these two factors are putting major strains on the workforce. Another important aspect of the talent crunch has to do with a lack of preparation on the part of U.S. manufacturers. Hind- man says there are plenty of people in the millennial work- force, 79.8 million, according to the Pew Research Center. And it's up to employers to not only recruit but train this new crop of manufacturing professionals to their desired performance level. "People coming in don't have those basic manufacturing skills," Hindman says. "As a company, those are core skills you have to teach people during their onboarding period before you can actually release them to on-the-job training." Building the pipeline Thanks to advanced planning, Worthington is one service center that has been able to prepare for possible labor short- ages in the future using a variety of reactive and proactive hir- ing practices. The company currently employees about 11,000 people worldwide, and Rohrbacher says a lot of these employ- ees are in that baby boomer generation. "Because of our suc- cession plan and because of our workforce planning, we are very clear on where our shortages are going to be," she says. Worthington's solution has been to actively build its recruit- ing pipeline. From partnering with area schools and military bases to sitting on local workforce development consortiums, the company is taking a multifaceted approach. Worthington also recently held its first career day, inviting college juniors and seniors into its facilities to learn about internship and em- ployment opportunities with the company. Because many younger workers still hold a somewhat nega- tive image of manufacturing careers, these types of proactive recruiting efforts are needed if companies are going to change people's perceptions of the industry. "I don't know that people, whether they're graduating from high school or college, think of manufacturing as a sexy line of work," Rohrbacher says. "We are trying to change that by getting in front of individu als." Metal Center News — January 2018 ❘ 13 Hiring and Training How refocusing recruitment and development efforts can help service centers fill looming skills gap in manufacturing workforce " We now have a young, inexperienced workforce that could be really good, but we need to make sure that we have programs in place to develop them to the standards that we're looking for. " John Hindman, Tooling U-SME A warehouse employee works on the packaging line inside one of Worthington Industries' facilities. (Photo courtesy Worthington) How refocusing recruitment and development efforts can help service centers fill looming skills gap in manufacturing workforce

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