Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 41

SPECIAL SECTION
Take the Lead

B Y B I L L D A R C Y,
NKBA CEO

KBIS 2018 is in the books, and we are proud to report is was the best show
we've ever had by many measures. We saw robust attendance at the show
itself, at our Voices from the Industry sessions and at one of the savviest State
of the Industry panel discussions in years.
Moderated by Fox News and Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis, the
panel included David Kohler, president and CEO of Kohler Co.; Rick Hasselbeck, chief commercial officer of GE Appliances; and Scott Culbreth,
senior vice president and CFO of American Woodmark. The standingroom-only crowd was highly engaged in this enlightening conversation,
which yielded a few key takeaways.
First, the panel addressed the thriving economy. Kohler noted that we
are eight-and-a-half years into the economic recovery, making it the thirdlongest recovery in the past 72 years.The housing market has been growing at
a solid but not overheated 5 to 6 percent a year, with projections of at least that
in the year ahead. And the executives agreed that the repair and remodeling
segment is the healthiest it's been in years. That's the good news.

What Lies Ahead
Then Francis asked the panel about the biggest challenges facing the industry
and possible solutions. Topping the list is the tight labor market - attracting
young people to the skilled trades and retaining workers in construction and
manufacturing. Culbreth said one of the challenges is that manufacturing in
general has a negative stigma, and high school students aren't typically drawn
to these professions.
"[We have to teach young people about the] great opportunities - financially as well as career-wise - to enter the construction trades and to also start
their own businesses," said Kohler. "Kids are not waking up and saying they
want to be in manufacturing or be a plumber. They're very important jobs,
and they're very lucrative, but we have to change the perception - and it's
going to take some time."
Culbreth then asked, "How do we change that discussion? How do we
make this an exciting industry in which to work, improve technologies, innovate robotics, etc., to get people interested in these jobs?"Hasselbeck offered a

solution: help people find what they like to do and what they're interested in.
"You can't force people into the pipeline if they don't want to do that kind
of work. It's not just the technical things, it's psychological too," he said,
adding that education will become even more critical and will involve local
manufacturers, local industry and local government.
GE has built training programs at the college and high school levels, as well
as at the manufacturing level, and this is the type of engagement in which our
industry can take the lead to help solve this labor crisis.
Kohler also said business and government aren't having a dialogue about
the right issues; we should be talking about how to build a workforce for the
future, how to drive the infrastructure we need and how to ensure that one
of the most important industries in our economy - the housing market - is
well-supported for the future.
Culbreth noted that manufacturers bear some responsibility as well to
make the jobs more attractive, pay good benefits and create a good company
culture - "someplace people would be proud to work."Hasselbeck added that
a company that has a purpose and meaning - that is more than just about
making money - is a company where people want to work.
"We've spent a lot of time trying to figure out our purpose as a company
and making sure we live it and find people who have a common link to that
purpose," he said. "If you start with that, it will lead you to what you do as a
company as it relates to healthcare and everything else."
So, what can we do on a daily basis to make our business better? Our
panel suggested working in our communities to engage young people, talk
to high school kids, offer internships and petition your representatives at
the local, state and national levels to move forward with training programs.
And at the end of the day, be the place where people want to build a career.
This is how we can take the lead to help remedy the most crucial issue
facing remodeling and construction. It's not an easy or fast fix, but it's one
our industry needs.
For a full wrapup of the State of the Industry panel, visit our blog at
www.nkba.org, and to watch the panel discussion, which was livestreamed
on Facebook http://bit.ly/2BiwXi1.

41



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018

Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018
Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Director’s Note
Happenings
Trends
Hot Topic
Skill Set
Better Business
Tech Savvy
KBIS 2018
Small Spaces
Color Find
Balanced Budget
Solutions
Before & After
Products with Staying Power
What’s Hot
Design With
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Editor’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Show Director’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 14
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 16
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Skill Set
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 23
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Tech Savvy
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - KBIS 2018
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 28
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 30
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 31
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Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 42
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 43
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 44
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 45
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Small Spaces
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 47
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Color Find
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 49
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Balanced Budget
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 51
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 53
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Before & After
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Products with Staying Power
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 57
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 58
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - What’s Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 60
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 61
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 62
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 63
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Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - 71
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Design With
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business - February/March 2018 - Cover4
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