Recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce plagues many companies today. Baby Boomers making a mass exodus into retirement while millennials not stepping up. Where does this leave companies heavily reliant upon its workforce to provide goods and services? If not now, soon, it will leave many in crisis mode. This is usually where the “blame-game” begins. The labor pool for certain skill sets is woefully low. Collectively, we all need to work together to address the impending issue.
Kids have so many career paths for which to choose, it’s almost overwhelming. High school administrators, teachers and guidance counselors often fail to understand what’s really available for their students. It’s not always clear which job opportunities require college educations, technical degrees or some other means of education.
To bridge this gap, companies might consider inviting the schools (or at least the administration) into their facilities. Schools, in turn, may consider hosting employers in the classroom, the lunchroom, or even open periods/study-halls. The traditional career fairs just aren’t getting the job done. Students don’t really understand what opportunities are available in their back yard, let alone across the country.
A regional workforce development group in western Pennsylvania has recognized these issues and found ways to offer solutions. The Pennsylvania West Central Job Partnership has successfully brought the two main stakeholders together to begin talking. Serving as a liaison and event facilitator, West Central Job Partnership and its partners have coordinated countless company tours. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents have visited many regional companies to learn the types of jobs and the respective education requirements. All due to the efforts of this small non-profit organization.
Pine Electronics, Inc. was one of several companies on this year’s Principals Tour. Facility Tour Several high school superintendents and principals were witness to the various roles needed to run a manufacturer. From machinists, to assemblers, to engineering of all disciplines and customer service and technical reps, these administrators could see the entire picture. Without a few of the pieces, the puzzle is incomplete and the company’s operation is weakened.
It is critical for companies to find skilled workers….as is kids to understand the different career choices on which they may embark. Whether you’re a parent, educator, employer, or student, get the conversation started. Find the people who can make it happen – tours, open-houses, etc. You will find that it’s not that complicated. All it takes is a quick phone call, email or introduction to get the ball rolling. Truly, it’s a win-win for all. But, it starts with YOU.