Significant but not urgent

Workforce development is the most important issue facing processors, according to a new survey.  However, they are not yet willing to invest toward workforce improvements. Why?  Here’s our assessment:

The 2017 State of the Industry Report released by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors quantifies 92% of executives with concerns about “Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Employees.”  However, in a subsequent question about budgets, these same executives identified their top categories slated for spending as capital equipment, not people.

As published by Plastics News, here is our perspective:

“Managers are saying, ‘This is what I need, workforce development, but I’m not ready to pay for it,’” said Dennis Gros, president of Gros Executive Recruiters Inc. in Franklin, Tenn. “I don’t mean to be critical. … It’s a function of profitability. Profitability is hard to come by.”
Pressure on profit has kept wages down, he said, even as companies report problems finding workers, which should push salaries up. But he does see pressure growing in 2017 for “slight upward” wage pressure.
Gros said the MAPP poll results also may reflect the experience and more limited resources available to small and mid-sized companies. He noted that 83 percent of the respondents came from companies with $50 million or less in annual sales.
“If you’re in the plastics business, it’s obviously capital-intensive,” he said. “You put another machine on the floor, you’ve made a significant statement of growth. It may impress the next customer.“When you make an investment in the workforce, it is an intangible investment that the bank won’t recognize and your customers may not recognize,” he said.Plastics News article:

Posted by on March 16, 2017 in .

Dennis Gros

Originally from South Louisiana, Dennis founded Gros Executive Recruiters in 1989 and moved operations to middle Tennessee two years later. He is a frequent speaker, author, and editorial contributor for publications and events related to plastics and packaging employment. On weekends you might find him playing piano in a swing band.