A reoccurring theme of late in the PHCP/PVF wholesale distribution industry has been the need to attract young talent into the workforce.

The American Supply Association is taking a proactive approach on that subject by establishing a comprehensive initiative to help ASA member distributors and manufacturers find qualified young workers through a number of different strategic avenues.

The focal point of the program is the establishment of a careers portal on the ASA website at www.asa.net. There, member distributors and manufacturers will be able to post job openings at their companies, while a series of videos on the portal will feature members of ASA’s Young Executives group talking about the benefits of working in the PHCP/PVF wholesale distribution industry and why they chose their specific career paths.

YE members Katie Poehling (First Supply), Ashley Martin (NIBCO), Dan McMaster (Porter Pipe & Supply) and Mason Oatey (Oatey Co.) recently were at Supply House Times headquarters in suburban Chicago filming the videos in the magazine’s new video studio. Supply House Times is the official publication of the American Supply Association.

“People will be able to come to the site and find opportunities they may not have known existed right in their back yard,” ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi said. “Right now, companies are struggling to find good people. It seems more and more of our members are looking to hire people. The timing of this couldn’t be better.”

Adelizzi’s vision for the program spans far beyond a single website. He plans on taking the jobs initiative on the road with job fairs at high schools, community colleges and select four-year universities. A key to this aspect is training ASA members on how to run a job fair in their particular geographical area.

“None of our members have probably ever done a career day or job fair,” he said. “Walking into a high school as the owner of a company can be an intimidating experience. We want to prepare them to best present their company and the industry in general.”

Adelizzi added another important component in the overall process will be reaching out to military groups. “There are thousands of military people looking for opportunities,” he said. “How do we reach men and women who are about ready to come out of the military? There’s a great opportunity to connect there.”

Adelizzi said the goal is to have the jobs portal fully functional by the end of the year. ASA already is partnering with Industrial Careers Pathway, an organization devoted to building brand awareness among the 18-34-year-old audience about careers in industrial distribution. ICP links students and job-seekers to careers in industrial distribution and manufacturing through partnerships with local educators and employers.

 “This is an important topic that will continue to be timely,” Adelizzi said. “People are looking for good people.”