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Labor & the Workforce
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Workforce recruitment and retention is critical to the success of any business. The November-December 2017 edition of PalletCentral provided insights from our industry thought leaders on the topic.


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Top tags: labor  automation  workforce  immigration  training  retention  compensation  labor pool  millennials  personnel  recruitment  Canada  competition  competitive benefits  culture  demographics  employee  europe  machinery  market  robotics  shortages  skilled labor  trade schools 

Labor in Canada

Posted By Jason Wheeler, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In Quebec, finding labor has become very difficult. Government stats are saying the most difficult time to find labor is going to last for the next 4-5 years, and then becoming easier. I just don’t see it improving.

Our company [Herwood, Inc.] offers good benefits to our employees i.e. heath insurance, pension, and competitive pay. These benefits help retain good employees, and attract those with family obligations.

There is a lack of applications due to the high employment rate in our region. I think industry should consider building a pallet shop school, where we could train and certify employees for the industry. It may generate interest in younger individuals, and provide laborers for companies looking to fill jobs.

Tags:  Canada  labor  retention  training  workforce 

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Labor Pool and Training

Posted By Jeff VanZeeland, Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We strongly believe in offering our employees a livable wage. For those who stay with FVWP for 2 years or more, most can expect wage, bonus and profit sharing. We have several production employees who make very good salaries, and we support these wages by staying efficient via maintaining a corporate culture that rewards and acknowledges success; setting measurable goals; and having our ownership group actively involved in daily operations. It is our job to communicate the value in what we do and reward people verbally and financially for a job well done.

We focus on locating high character people first, and then dedicate the training resources. Due to low unemployment rates, the pool of available quality candidates has dropped. Once we fill a position, it’s unlikely they've ever worked in a manufacturing setting, therefore training and patience is crucial. If someone shows up for work every day and has a good attitude, we’ll move their wages up within a few weeks, and continue to motivate and train them.

Our primary competition is for entry-level talent. Our region is full of small to mid-sized manufacturers also struggling to find talent. The pressure is on all of us. However, since most of the entry level positions require minimal education, we can offer competitive wages without educational strings attached as an advantage. Also, engage with the local high schools to find individuals that are not planning to attend college or a tech school.

Tags:  labor  labor pool  retention  training 

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Lack of Skilled Labor, Shortages

Posted By Doug Hoyle, Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018

In my extensive travels, upwards of 700 customer locations in the last 2 years, the same concern surfaces in every demographic and geographic area of the country: labor shortages. Many of our customers are expressing significant concerns about the lack of skilled and unskilled labor. The lumber industry has an aging workforce, and replenishing the rapidly retiring workforce has proven to be difficult. As the economy has steadily increased over the last few years, so has the growth of the housing industry. This has led to an increase in demand for lumber, building materials and related household goods. Many customers have had to decline jobs due to the supply and demand imbalance.

 Increased economy, increased discretional spending, immigration and undocumented worker controls, increased pay and benefit offerings from retail and restaurant employers are all contributing factors to labor. There is competition in the general labor force with competitive wages, but there’s not enough publicity about the opportunities in the lumber-related industry.

 Recruitment and publicity will help at the elementary, high school and technical school level; college recruitment for management and sales positions. Employers should consider increased wages and benefits to compete with businesses and industry in the surrounding area, and upgrade technology of the machinery and equipment as to provide for a more skilled and higher paid workforce.

Tags:  immigration  labor  recruitment  retention  skilled labor 

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