TAMPA, FLA. (Jan. 3, 12:45 p.m. ET) — In the new year, there will be a common thread to some of the key managerial challenges facing plastics companies of all stripes and sizes. Top amongst them is finding, training and retaining skilled shop-floor workers, salespeople and managers.
It doesn't matter what processes you run or end markets you serve, managing and motivating staff is the foundation to any successful company – yet, despite the current high unemployment rate, some firms are finding it difficult to find qualified talent.
At the 14th Plastics News Executive Forum later this month in Tampa, Emily Stover DeRocco, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturing Institute (www.themanufacturinginstitute.org), will recap some of the findings from her group's recent joint study with Deloitte Consulting LLP, called “Boiling Point: The Skills Gap in Manufacturing.”
See these two related stories in Plastics News: Poll says majority don't want manufacturing jobs (Sept. 9, 2011), and Study illustrates skills gap in manufacturing (Oct. 19, 2011).
DeRocco previously served President George W. Bush as the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor and was responsible for managing a $10 billion investment in the nation's workforce. In that role, she created and implemented regional economic development initiatives in 39 regions across the nation, using talent development strategies to drive competitive advantage for America's businesses.
As the Forum's keynote speaker, DeRocco will address “Building the Talent Supply Chain for U.S. Manufacturers” and suggest approaches for bridging the gap.
Another Forum speaker, Russ Riendeau, will take a different tack on the workforce issue. The senior partner in Barrington, Ill.-based executive search firm East Wing Group Inc. (www.eastwingsearchgroup.com), Riendeau will focus on talent acquisition and retention, especially in the management and sales ranks. With a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, Riendeau has written six books on the topic. All conference attendees will receive a free copy on CD of his latest book, “The CEO's Guide to Talent Acquisition.”
Three plastics industry trade association leaders also will be on the program, outlining the key challenges that they see facing the industry – including labor issues and well beyond. Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., Laurie Hansen, executive director of the Western Plastics Association (the recently renamed California Film Extruders & Converters Association), and Troy Nix, executive director of the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors, will outline the issues, and discuss the way forward.
The 2012 Executive Forum, taking place Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at Tampa's Saddlebrook Resort, also is where the publication will crown its latest Processor of the Year, and honor the firms that will earn PN's Excellence Awards for customer relations, employee relations, and industry/public service. The lineup of 28 speakers will cover everything from managerial best practices, resin market updates, financing tips, merger and acquisition trends, co-innovation and recycling.
The full list of presenters and their topics can be found at www.plasticsnews.com/forum2012.