If you are like me, you read the article titled “How committed is your organization to training” in our ASA News section in the May issue of Supply House Times with a degree of alarm and concern.

The article outlined how our industry stacks up against other industries and companies in respect to our investment in training our employees. According to the article, our industry is outspent roughly 5 to 1 in dollar spend per employee and roughly 3 to 1 in hours spent per employee in training.

What’s clear is that we are facing staggering shortfalls in available talent, and as owners we are not taking the alarm bells seriously enough to invest in training to ensure that our companies remain relevant and viable well into the future. For too long, we have relied on our company managers to train the new employees, passing down the knowledge that we have spent a career cultivating. What we haven’t thought about is that within the next 10 years, half of our industry will retire, taking with them years of knowledge and education. The numbers cited in the article prove that. We are not taking the “canary in a coal mine” warning sign serious enough to drive us to invest in our future.