Signs of the Times - August 2017 - 36
The International Sign Association
AUGUST 2017 EDITION
Sign Manufacturing Day:
Tackling One of the Industry's Biggest Challenges
Top left: Vantage LED brought in students who were specializing in science, technology, engineering and math classes as part of Sign Manufacturing Day.
Bottom left: In 2016, more than 2,500 students visited sign, graphics and visual communications companies, including Ramsay Signs.
Main: Sen. Chris Murphy toured Lauretano Sign Group during Sign Manufacturing Day in 2016.
It wasn't that long ago that, whenever Ivan Perez had a job opening, he had 300-400 applications to wade through. Then, the economy improved
and the challenges finding workers intensified.
"Now, it's not necessarily the pool that it used to be," said Ivan, Vantage LED's director of resource development.
That's a story that is no doubt familiar in many sign, graphics and visual communications companies. It is an issue that has been growing as
baby boomers retire. When the federal unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent, it only intensified.
Yaron Lew, Lauretano Sign Group's Chief Operating Officer, also has seen hiring to be "a very big challenge in some areas. Painters, welders,
fabricators and installers are very hard to find. It's a little bit easier in shipping/receiving, channel letters production, CNC operations and in
the office. Designers and estimators are very hard to find, while sales and project management is somewhat easier."
Both Lauretano and Vantage LED have tackled the problem head on by participating in Sign Manufacturing Day. The annual event, sponsored
by ISA in conjunction with the National Association of Manufacturers, brings in students to learn more about careers in the sign, graphics and
visual communications industry.
STATS * FACTS
2 million manufacturing jobs are expected to go unfilled by 2025, according to Deloitte. 350,000 manufacturing jobs
* * * ISA REPORT / August 2017