Using the gender divide to fill the work-shortage gap

By Trade Only Today

Lund and Crestliner have launched a recruitment plan to increase the number of women on the boat builders’ production floor. The Brunswick companies said that more than 20 percent of the workforce at its New York Mills, Minn., facility are women and that number is “steadily” increasing.

"So far this year, women account for 25 percent of our new hires," said Lynda Everson, human resources manager at the facility, in a statement. “All are contributing to our boatmaking efforts."

The company said that attracting new employees to the New York Mills facility has been crucial to its growth. Brunswick moved Crestliner production to New York Mills in 2010. Since then, demand for the two brands continues to grow as aluminum boat sales still rising. During the period of high demand, the facility has also needed to replace employees as they retire. All of that comes at a time when skilled workers are in short supply.

Women represent 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force, according to the National Association of Manufacturing, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce.

Everson saw the gender divide as a way to fill the work-shortage gap. "We formed our Women in Manufacturing Group at New York Mills, and got to work," she said. "Among its goals are to help members leverage their strengths for personal development as well as develop a network to generate ideas and share best practices of how we can improve both our own careers as well as better the plant's performance."

To learn more, read "Combatting the workforce shortage, Lund and Crestliner actively recruit women for manufacturing jobs" from Soundings Trade Only.