Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own

This week brings our third guest post from Don Shilling. Now it is time to talk about how to “grow your own” workforce.

Don Shilling

I grew up in a construction family and worked for my Dad several summers during and after high school. Then while working on my degree at North Dakota State University I was hired by a construction equipment dealership. I started in their service department part time until I finished college. Then full-time service employment for a couple of years then transitioned into sales management. During the recession of the early 1980’s myself and three other managers started General Equipment & Supplies, Inc.

First as Sales Manager and eventually as President we grew our business from one location and 20 employees to 10 locations in four states and two Canadian Provinces and over 250 employees. Along the way we developed relationships with area Technical Colleges and created a College Tuition Reimbursement Program where today we Recruit a handful of new technicians annually into that program. Our company has also developed two Department of Labor Certified Apprenticeship Programs to fill hard to find skilled positions. I am currently semi-retired as Chairman of the Board.

In my previous blog I talked about “High Demand Jobs” and the need to Grow Our Own by recruiting for skilled positions we need filled. It is possible to use the Local, State and Federal Programs that exist today to help underwrite part of the cost of educating our new workforce and/or developing our workforce. . .. That is quite a mouthful but if you break it down it is fairly simple.

Our Federal, State and Local governments are really beginning to understand how the shortages of skilled workforce is impacting our economy. They are all scrambling to help find solutions and frankly they are also looking for your guidance and input.

Because of Covid 19 we are hearing a lot of talk about “re-tooling” our workforce so that people who were employed found themselves suddenly unemployed by what became an unstable and perhaps unskilled career path. These workers are looking to make a change and find a new career that will add stability to their families and futures. Our Adult Learning Centers are going to become busy places as these programs expand and flourish.

Business and Industry are being called on to help support these expanding programs and if you think your business can benefit then you better be seeking out these opportunities. In many cases State or Local dollars are being matched with private sector dollars to bring these programs to life.

What does that mean for you and your organization? It means you might end up hiring or supporting an older than average person(s) who wants and needs a new career. You will help develop this person, first with initial training and inevitably additional continuous training until you have a strong and highly competent employee. That is:  Growing Your Own.

This initial Education coupled with Continuous Training builds your staff in a very positive way. The training starts with a comprehensive On Boarding process as they first report to work. Then things like safety training and specific work center orientation. These new employees don’t know what they don’t know so don’t skip steps. These Employees that you have Grown on Your Own will recognize their new skill sets which creates positive attitudes for all and at the end of the day the customers you serve will see this positive influence. There is no real down side to Growing Your Own!

For help in growing your own workforce, please visit us at Learning Without Scars.