President's Column: Workforce Development Serves as the Top Initiative to Raise Awareness
One of my highlights this summer was attending SMACNA National’s Board Meeting in Sonoma, Calif. in July. It was great to catch up with board members, hear current industry perspectives and get excited about all the great work that lay ahead.
The meeting was highly productive, and we discussed — and unanimously approved — some large initiatives that will help raise awareness of our industry and better position our contractors for future growth. The biggest topics discussed include SMACNA National’s strategy for identifying, capturing and disseminating information on technology, and raising industry awareness and interest in our trade through a national workforce development campaign.
Keeping pace with technology is critical to the survival of every one of our contractors as we contemplate big and small purchases that will increase efficiencies and keep us competitive. SMACNA will manage information on several fronts including more coverage of technology in SMACNA publications, as well as through other media channels including video and podcasts. SMACNA has also commit-ted to forming a technology task force made up of SMACNA members, associate members and select industry representatives to identify and share new trends and developments in various sectors across the country. I can’t wait to see what this SMACNA initiative brings to the table!
At a previous board meeting in January 2019, the board agreed to a national framework for workforce development with SMACNA National focused on a nationwide industry-awareness campaign. We expect this campaign will generate interest in joining the trade, but that interest will be driven to chapters to facilitate individual opportu-nities with their members.
SMACNA National looked at what is needed to run a sustained national media campaign that supports our goal of attracting highly qualified candidates to both the craft and non-craft positions in our industry. A program like this is critical to our future as our experienced journeyman and executives are aging out in large numbers over the next decade. But a sustained nationwide campaign doesn’t come cheap.
The board believes that these initiatives are an absolute necessity to help our contractors remain competitive, position them to capture the best talent, have the most advanced and efficient shops and ultimately take market share away from the competition. In fact, we feel so strongly about the need for them that SMACNA will tap into its reserve funds to launch these projects later this year.
Nathan L. Dills