ASA represents 600 member companies, thousands of locations, hundreds of thousands of employees and families, and hundreds of billions in revenue.
And as the 2024 ASA president, I am humbled to continue to create opportunities for all our membership to thrive.
ASA was established in 1969 and has been providing invaluable support to PHCP/PVF industry members. That ongoing support is powered by the association’s four key pillars of employee education/training, business intelligence/data/benchmarking, advocacy and networking.
Supply chain issues continue to make headlines. Our industry, made up of distributors, manufacturers and independent manufacturers’ reps, has proven that we are vital to our infrastructure on the overall wellbeing of America. We all face the complexities of emerging technologies, new competition, evolving legislation, and a challenging workforce.
We have heard it for years, and now we are seeing it firsthand as our most seasoned veterans in the workforce are retiring. And for many companies, it is hard to fill the void created by these retirements. It goes without saying, the strength of all our companies lies in one place — our people!!
In 2015, ASA commissioned a research project to better understand the industry’s workforce and trends. This is where we learned that the 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age every day was having an acute effect on our industry that would continue in the coming years.
Late last year, we conducted the study again and the final results are currently being tabulated. It’s clear that while the makeup of our industry is changing, including more women, greater diversity and new skills to meet technology advances, we still face a shortfall in the number of people needed to make up for the industry veterans who are retiring.
For these reasons, I’m pleased that ASA and its members have continued to deem PROJECT TALENT as a key strategic initiative.
As part of the ASA Education Foundation’s goal to recruit, train and retain people, PROJECT TALENT’s mission is twofold:
- To increase the number of qualified workers taking advantage of attractive career opportunities in the PHCP/PVF Industry by conducting a multi-faceted campaign to brand our industry as an exciting and innovative area to start, build and develop a career.
- Provide ASA members with valuable tools and resources to support their local recruitment efforts.
“It is up to us as ASA members to decide how we want PROJECT TALENT to make an impact for us today, and for years to come.”
As our industry evolves, we need to show potential employees why our industry is so great, and that it is a fit for them. They need to see they have a future that can be prosperous and lead into a fulfilling lifelong career.
The focus on PROJECT TALENT in 2023 resulted in several enhancements and I’m looking forward to continuing this path of improvement in 2024 in support of all of us.
At the heart of PROJECT TALENT is a comprehensive social media campaign using research-tested themes and messaging proven to resonate with the targeted audiences including students considering careers, women, military seeking private-sector opportunities and mid-career professionals ready to use their talents in a different industry.
In 2023, organic and targeted paid social media activities reached more than 4 million people with more than 90,000 clicks for more information.
These campaigns are designed to raise awareness of our industry and drive interested candidates to SupplyIndustryCareers.com, a website dedicated to providing industry information, including the opportunities that exist and the ability to request further information or find ASA members with potential opportunities in the locations of their choice.
The association’s work to raise the visibility of the industry is only a portion of PROJECT TALENT’s mission. Through PROJECT TALENT, a number of valuable tools and resources are available to assist ASA members with local recruitment.
The online “Recruiter Toolbox” provides recruitment resources such as stock photography, job descriptions optimized for online job boards, social media templates, videos and more to assist recruiters at our member companies. In 2024, we are looking forward to making this resource more easily accessible to all members.
In 2023, a series of PROJECT TALENT webinars were held to cover topics such as how to use social media for recruiting, the power of Indeed.com, and current recruitment trends. I’m happy to report that these webinars will continue in 2024 and I encourage you to attend.
Recently, SupplyIndustryCareers.com was updated to allow ASA members to indicate if they are currently hiring. Website visitors can choose the area on a map where they might be interested in starting a career and easily view which members are hiring and link to those companies where local recruitment can begin.
As this new feature is intended to drive job seekers to members, we must understand the importance of our websites to the recruitment process and ensure candidates have a compelling online experience. Through PROJECT TALENT, a checklist of website recruitment best practices has been developed to help guide members. In 2024, ASA will provide members with complimentary reviews of their career sites to assist them with ensuring job seekers have the best candidate experience possible.
As members of ASA, you all have access to the tools PROJECT TALENT presents. It is up to US as ASA members to decide how we want it to make an impact for us today, and for years to come.