Workforce Development

After a tornado decimated one of its Michigan truss plants, Zeeland took advantage of the unexpected chance to rebuild and grow.

Recognize the differences between age groups and play to their strengths for successful intergenerational management.

  • A quarter of a million people left the housing construction industry from 2002-2012, and many of them have found employment elsewhere.
  • Framers are feeling the effects of this exodus more acutely than most, prompting them to look for creative ways to do more with fewer people.
  • CMs can play a pivotal role in switching framers from sticks to components by offering installation training and expertise to new framing employees.
  • By conducting its own ASTM E119 floor assembly fire testing, SBCA has the data it needs to effectively fight the controversial IRC Section R501.3 code provision and help preserve CMs’ market share.
  • SBCA has drafted template best practice language CMs should consider using in their TDDs, customer contracts and submittal documents to counter the efforts of the lumber industry to shift liability onto end users.
  • Through Framing the American Dream and WorkForce Development efforts, SBCA is actively engaged in helping CMs successfully navigate today’s labor challenges and grow their businesses.
Best practices for training and mentoring designers.
  • Before a new truss designer designs their first truss, it’s a good idea to have technicians work as a helper on a truss production team.
  • Understand the personal characteristics, education and knowledge of your plant personnel because often talent is there that is unexplored and unrealized.
  • Training a new designer is an ongoing process that takes time. When you have good designers trained, you will want to do everything you can to keep them employed with you.
  • The focus should be on developing a system each company can continuously evolve in order to avoid becoming stagnant as the market improves. 
  • In order to bring in qualified people, initially, companies need to define, write out and fine-tune a recruitment process.
  • You need to develop a pipeline of candidates and not wait for the need to arise.  
  • When it comes to jobsite safety, fragmentation within the construction industry creates obstacles that shouldn’t be there (and don’t have to be).  
  • It’s very difficult for framing companies to develop a consistent culture of safety when the jobsite-specific safety plan changes from jobsite to jobsite.
  • FrameSAFE provides a standardized approach to safety communication and shares universal best practices when it comes to safe behavior and jobsite hazard mitigation.
In upcoming issues of SBC Magazine, we are going to look at the top ten training needs for component manufacturers, walk through the issues associated with each of those training needs, and provide guidance on industry best practices for offering basic through advanced training.
  • We need to focus on our younger employees now and groom them to become the next generation of leaders in our companies and in our industry.
  • Just like raising kids, building leaders is accomplished through a million small conversations, learning moments, completed tasks and informal evaluations with feedback.
  • There has to be a commitment on your part to ensure the employees you mentor learn everything they can about their jobs and the business.