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Our Unique Solution Keeps Manufacturing Humming

Our Unique Solution Keeps Manufacturing Humming


While other companies struggle with finding employees, we found a solution that is a win for everyone involved – including our customers.


Manufacturing is the backbone of our economy. But the challenge to find workers is putting additional strain on our economic infrastructure and adding to the country’s supply chain woes. Finding employees interested in manufacturing was a challenge pre-pandemic; Covid-19 has further exacerbated the gap. The solution for Tusco Manufacturing involves getting creative to plant a spark in an unlikely resource.


The lockdown in 2020 gave people time to reflect on what was important to them, and once businesses opened up, employees started making changes. Beginning in early 2021, a record number of people quit their jobs in what has since been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” A survey in Forbes shows low wages and limited growth were the top concerns of many who left their jobs for new opportunities.


Companies are offering higher wages and better benefits to attract employees. Still, with so many jobs available, employees can afford to be choosy, so these changes often aren’t enough to attract new team members. We already had a highly competitive compensation package, so we knew that we needed a different approach to attract and retain employees. If people weren’t interested in a manufacturing career or maybe hadn’t considered it, we needed to provide an opportunity for potential employees to learn about manufacturing. To create these connections, we turned to our local school district for assistance.


Bringing Manufacturing to Life for High School Students


If you asked a group of children what they want to be when they grow up, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that names a career in manufacturing. With manufacturing’s importance as the backbone of our economy and young people being our future leaders, it only makes sense to introduce them to what manufacturing truly has to offer. In 2018, we partnered with Indian Valley High School to teach interested students the benefits of manufacturing careers through a hands-on paid employment program.


That first year, we brought on 12 students to complete light assembly work after school and during the summer. They trained alongside our full-time and part-time associates to learn the processes needed for each project. The opportunity exposed them to the manufacturing setting, as well as the possible job opportunities our company offers.


Eight students are part of the program this year, working Monday through Friday for four hours each day. Students are paid well and given opportunities for full-time positions upon graduation or summer jobs for those who go off to college. Our investment in training high school students has paid off and will continue to pay off for us long term. We introduce a new generation to manufacturing, students learn a new skill and earn money, and our customers get uninterrupted service. It’s a win for everyone.


Some may have thought this partnership was a risk because many young people are wrongfully stereotyped as entitled, irresponsible, and lazy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. These students perform remarkably well.


Mike Lauber, our CEO, previously shared with Indian Valley Superintendent Ira Wentworth, “For people who say, ‘kids don’t know how to work these days,’ we say that they haven’t met these students. They perform at or above the standards of output and quality of any adult. We couldn’t be more pleased.”


An article on our program was recently published by the Times-Reporter and can be read here.

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