Workforce Crisis: Weighing Effectiveness, Options For Recruiting Labor

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2008 Vol. 63 No. 9

"The purpose of our recruitment video is to orient individuals who may not have a full understanding of the construction industry and the exciting careers in this arena," says Mills. "Most parents want their children to go to college so they can provide for themselves and their families. Choosing a career in construction can also provide a comfortable living in specialized craft and craft management jobs and the added satisfaction of seeing the tangible results of their work. College graduates can also put their problem solving skills to use by learning to manage projects. All our positions provide the opportunity to grow and expand one's skills, responsibility and earning power."

Mills believes the different types of projects Henkels & McCoy handles appeals to many prospective employees.

"We do exciting things such as restoring power for people after hurricanes or bringing upgraded power services to neighborhoods," she explains. "We have done work at Citizens Bank Park – home of the Philadelphia Phillies – and the Pentagon. These are exciting projects that people want to work on, and our focus is to expose potential employees to the great opportunities in our industry."

Once hired, new employees receive training that will enhance their value as an employee and provide the opportunity for advancement within the company. "Employees realize the benefits of a very comprehensive training process," says Mills. "We provide safety training and safety leadership training designed to teach accountability. Our safety leadership program was created through our work on the OSHA ET&D Strategic Safety Partnership and includes the first OSHA 20 hour program to develop employees' competencies and skills and instill safety as part of everyone's job. It also focuses on how to effectively communicate with and motivate people. We run a week long Supervisor Academy program for new supervisors and managers by bringing them to company headquarters in Blue Bell. There, they gain insight from our executives about what is important at Henkels & McCoy."

A comprehensive, company-wide project management program enhances workforce skills and positions the company to complete increasingly complex projects.

"Our core values include continuous team and personal improvement, so our dedication to developing people is central to our strategy," says Mills.