Millennial employees now outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. And, those numbers will only increase with the passage of time as Baby Boomers continue to retire at a rate of four million per year.
For industrial distributors, that means a massive shift in the ages and outlooks of their employees as well as their customers. So how does the industrial distribution industry navigate this change?
Industrial Careers Pathway® (ICP) is providing visibility for the industry as a whole to “right fit” potential industrial distribution employees and bringing tools to industrial distributors to help with recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, management and retaining of Millennial workers.
“It is clear that Millennials have a different mind-set about work than previous generations,” said Mary Jawgiel, ICP program director. “We are working to help industrial distributors adjust to this Millennial mind-set as the dominant generation in the workforce shifts from Baby Boomer to Millennial.”
To help bring more Millennials to the industrial distribution workforce, ICP has organized a volunteer cadre of “Ambassadors” made up of current and recently-retired industrial distribution professionals drawn from associations who partner with the organization.
ICP Ambassadors spend time at technical competitions, career fairs, school events and host tours of their facilities, all in an effort to represent the career field to potential employees. In the last few months, ICP has had visibility at multiple events around the U.S. and Canada, including the annual meeting of the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) and several SkillsUSA competitions.
ICP is a multifaceted North American workforce initiative supported by an alliance of industry associations including American Supply Association, Industrial Supply Association Education Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors, National Association of Electrical Distributors, NAHAD-The Association for Hose & Accessories Distribution, NIBA-The Belting Association, and PTDA Foundation.
Tribute customer, Jay Adams of Hose/Conveyors became an ICP Ambassador through his association with NAHAD. Jay and Ron Herem of Baldwin Supply Co., another ICP Ambassador, attended a career fair at Burnsville High School in Burnsville, Minn. The event featured an Internet live stream where Herem and Adams were interviewed about the positive aspects of a career in industrial distribution.
In addition to coordinating these types of events, ICP develops and delivers useful programs, services and training tools to help industrial distributors better recruit, on-board, hire, manage, train and retain Millennial employees.
An example is the training program, Elements of Industrial Distribution, which is available at a discount for companies with membership in ICP partner associations. ICP also publishes a free monthly eBlast, the ICP Talent Tipsheet, which offers vetted information, ideas and action steps employers can take to keep their relationships with Millennial workers on the positive side.
ICP also offers the only online job board that is solely focused on industrial distribution.
Employers can post job openings for a fraction of the cost of mainstream job boards and those seeking jobs can post their resumes for free. Coming later this year from ICP is an online internship directory to help bring together companies offering internships and people seeking to gain experience through internships.
For more information, click here for the NIBA news release or visit www.industrialcareerspathway.org/Hire, or contact ICP via email.
Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software specifically targeted at industrial distributors and fabricators. To learn more, visit www.tribute.com