A Practical Look at the Employment Problem

An executive who is doing something about the manufacturing employment issue discusses some of its realities. In some of the cases he cites, it’s less a lack of skills (although that’s part of it) than it is attitude, drug screening and some other lifestyle choices that may make the job seekers less than hireable.

In our July issue, Jeff Sprague, president and CEO of Allen Economic Development Group, writes about some of the practical problems that employers face in trying to fill positions within their organizations. He’s in the trenches working with manufacturers in the Lima, Ohio, area desperately trying to find the employees they need to run their businesses.

Mr. Sprague gets down to some of the nitty gritty of the candidates available and the impediments employers face to qualify these candidates. In some of the cases he cites, it’s less a lack of skills (although that’s part of it) than it is attitude, drug screening and some other lifestyle choices that may make the job seekers less than hireable.  

The lead for this Last Word column came to me through Perry Wiltsie, president of quality, at Vanamatic Co. in Delphos, Ohio. I’ve known the Wiltsie family for many years and they are tuned into the issues of personnel. In fact, the company uses many advanced programs to assure they have the right people in the right jobs. We have published several articles on “human interest” at Vanamatic, so when Perry suggested I get in touch with Mr. Sprague, I did.

Read Mr. Sprague’s comments on workforce development programs that he is working on in the Lima area by visiting "Tackling an Employer's Toughest Workforce Challenges." His company represents successful public/private ventures with the goal of solving the manufacturing worker shortage.

Read this article we published about Vanamatic: "Moving Forward with Self-Directed Work Teams."