Volume 48, Issue 7- July 2013
Glazing Industry Explores New Ways to Recruit Fresh and Younger Talent
The glass industry has long had its work cut out for it in recruiting fresh talent for highly specialized jobs. In an industry in which it seems that new hires always come from a competitor, many industry companies are exploring ways to attract qualified, young employees.
“Our human resources department has been actively recruiting, a ‘younger’ base of new employees, with ‘new age’ skills, such as engineering, CAD, computer, etc.,” says Arthur Berkowitz, president of J.E. Berkowitz L.P. in Pedricktown, N.J. “[These are] primarily being added to our project management/technical services and all glass engineering departments.”
Beverly C. Humenik, who is the human resource manager for J.E. Berkowitz, is the first to say that finding new recruits to fulfill the specialized needs of the glass fabrication company is no easy task. “It’s very hard,” she says. “We have specialized departments that deal with the storefronts and the all-glass doors, but it’s even harder to find people with an architectural, technology or AutoCAD background. You would think that would be easy, but right now it’s one of my most difficult positions to fill.”
As a result, Humenik is stretching out creatively in her recruitment efforts. For starters, she says, “We pretty much no longer advertise in the actual newspaper, and it’s terrible to say because I love to read the paper every day, but the younger generation doesn’t. So we use the Internet, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, etc. Most recently I posted an advertisement on LinkedIn. It was not as successful as I hoped it would be—but the one response that I got is coming back in for a second interview, so it may end up being well worth the fee to do that,” Humenik says. She adds, “We also use a lot of Facebook, a lot of social networking.”
However, the company isn’t standing back and letting social media do all of the recruiting work. Classic local advertising still works. For example, Humenik has purchased tall, colorful, banner-style signs for the facility that let people driving by know the company is hiring. In addition, she has joined the mailing lists of local universities so that she is alerted whenever a career fair is scheduled nearby. “I also post on their sites about jobs,” she says.
Still, the extensive legwork is new for the company. “I’ve been with the company for 19 years and when I first started, for several years, it was strictly newspaper,” Humenik says.
Getting those new recruits is one thing; getting them involved as industry professionals is another.
“We know that there are new professionals coming into the industry every single day,” says Ashley Charest, account executive with the Glass Association of North America (GANA). “Our challenge is to reach out to companies and make sure that they find even a small way to get those individuals involved, whether it’s task groups or a subcommittee or even serving on our board. We’re seeing it, but we’re trying to find a way within the association to get those new people involved, and encouraging our current companies to get their new people involved in any way that they can.”
James Wright, technical sales representative for Glass Coatings and Concepts LLC in Monroe, Ohio, is still relatively new in his involvement with GANA, a qualification that has led him to create a committee specifically for educating and serving as a resource for the “new” glass industry. “New” simply means the individual has fewer than five years in the glass industry or fewer than five years with GANA.
“The objective of the committee is to get new professionals together in one room,” Wright explains.
“We generally have two sessions in the committee meeting. The first one is open to all GANA members, and we’ll have a presentation or a more informative committee meeting. The second half is open just to committee members … so we feel comfortable asking those questions we feel might not be appropriate in a large committee meeting.” Wright adds, “I imagine a lot of new professionals, especially me when I started, felt a little intimidated asking a question or not knowing whether to vote on a certain issue.”
Presentations in the past have covered tips on networking, anti-trust issues and expectations of committee members.
The outreach effort seems to be working, Wright finds.
“When I started attending GANA meetings, around 2009, I looked around the room and saw maybe three or four members in my age group in the 30 to 35 age range. Now I go to these meetings and, especially at the last conference in Chicago, it seems like there’s now at least 15 in that age group. So it’s increased over the last four to five years,” Wright says. He adds, “Some of the discussions that have come out of these closed sessions have been great in getting the new members engaged and encouraged so when they go to the networking receptions they reach out andstart talking to some of the veteran committee members or chair people that they see.” —Megan Headley
Corning and View Announce Collaboration
“We’re excited to collaborate with View,” says Martin Curran, executive vice president and innovation officer for Corning. “While dynamic glass has been in development for decades, we believe View’s unique approach will finally bring this technology into the mainstream.”
“We’re thrilled and honored to be collaborating with Corning, a world leader value added applications. Corning’s global presence, operating expertise and technology resources will help us tremendously in advancing our offerings,” adds Dr. Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View.
Tubelite Opens New Dallas/Fort Worth
“We are very pleased with how well everything went on the project,” says Ken Werbowy, president of Tubelite. The new 27,500-square-foot building area will provide on-site CNC machining for door and frame fabrication, according to the company. Employees previously working out of the company’s Mesquite, Texas, office in addition to several employees from the company’s Walker, Mich., plant have transitioned to the new location.