We can’t afford not to train our employees.

Dear Industry Colleagues,

When I started in this business some 30+ years ago, my goal was to get my picture on the cover of Supply House Times. For my birthday in 1986, my employees made up a dummy Supply House Times cover with my picture on it. Little did I know that my real appearance on the cover would coincide with the 50th anniversary of Supply House Times. On behalf of ASA, as well as all the supply chain partners around the country just like me who read Supply House Times every month, congratulations on achieving this great milestone! 

This time of year always seems like there’s something to celebrate. Spring has sprung and graduation season is just around the corner. The job market will have a new crop of eager graduates ready to find their first “real” jobs and start a career. Are you ready for that? Do you have a recruitment plan in place to engage these prospective employees? How are you going to interest them in your company and our industry as a career? In my travels, I’ve talked with a lot of ASA members all around the country. Workforce development is always mentioned as one of their biggest challenges. In fact, recruitment and retention was the topic selected by the ASA Training Council for their first member-planned meeting, held in February (see page 170 in ASA News for a review of the meeting). It’s an issue with which we all struggle. The ASA Education Foundation can help.

Successful recruiters say that it is the environment and culture within your company that attracts quality people. Young people today want to work in an environment that can demonstrate commitment to the employees’ career growth and advancement. Does your company have that type of environment? Do you have an ongoing program investing in your company’s number one resource … your people? ASA is engaged in exposing young workers to the career opportunities that exist in our industry.  Are you prepared to sell them? Check out our new brochure, Hot Careers…Hidden in Plain Sight. It’s free to our members and describes who we are and why people should look to us for careers. 

And what about retention? The young adults joining the work force today - the “Millennials” as they’re called - want very different things than you and I did 30 years ago. I recently read an article that said that the Millennials will job hop in a heartbeat if they are not doing interesting and challenging things from which they can collaborate, learn and grow. Education and training are the keys to keeping this group engaged. The ASA Education Foundation has a vast array of resources available to help you make this happen. If you don’t even know where to start, visit the website and look around, or even better … CALL ASA. THEY CAN HELP YOU. 

A comment we hear often about training is, “I can’t afford it.”  In reality, we all can’t afford not to train our employees. Take a look at page 171 in ASA News. The article entitled Bridging Training and ROI links training to your profitability. If you’ve ever wondered if it pays to train, it does.  These days, we all can use more ways to be profitable. Education is your solution!

I’m through the first quarter of my term and guess what? I am still excited to be president of this great organization. Thank you for your support. See you in May.

Jeff New

Mid-City Supply Co.