Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 30

" We're unable to even get people
Attracting young
workers isn't the
type of challenge
that will be
solved quickly.
Michael M. Woody
Trans-Tex LLC
in the door to fill out an application, "
Richardson says. " We'd hire an
additional 10 people tomorrow if
we could find them. We've had helpwanted
ads up for more than three
months and have had fewer than
10 applicants. "
Ed Skrzynski, owner and chief
engineer of Marco Canvas and
Upholstery LLC, is facing similar
frustrations. Headquartered in Marco
Island, Fla., the company provides
textiles and metal fabrication solutions
to the marine, shade and outdoor
upholstery markets for government
and commercial end users. Employees
currently number 13, down from
the 18 the company had before the
pandemic struck.
Even before COVID-19, hiring
could be challenging due to the lack
of skilled applicants, says Skrzynski.
But it's now markedly worse: " No one
seems to want a job, " he complains,
adding that cross-training and
automation have helped mitigate these
shortages to an extent, although he
needs more installers and sewers.
Competition and scarcity
Skrzynski attributes some of the
workforce reluctance to government
programs that provided enough
financial assistance to allow many
people to wait out the pandemic at
home (although the ending of these
benefits hasn't yet resulted in a rush
back to work). The fact that COVID-19
is still a concern may also be keeping
potential employees away, he adds.
Intensified competition for
Two twenty-something employees of Marco Canvas are honing their 3-D CAD skills. The company
has successfully used technology to attract young people who are excited about the opportunity
to work with advanced automation. Currently, five of its 13 employees are under the age of 30.
Photo: Marco Canvas and Upholstery LLC.
employees is another issue, says Kathie
Leonard, president/CEO of Auburn
Manufacturing Inc. (AMI). Located in
Mechanic Falls, Maine, the company
makes industrial textiles (fabrics,
tapes, ropes, etc.) for extreme-heat
environments that are incorporated
into products used for hot-work
protection, mechanical insulation,
safety garments and more. Markets
include shipbuilding and repair,
petroleum and power generation.
Hiring wasn't always easy before
the pandemic, Leonard says, also citing
a dearth of skilled workers along with
an aging workforce.
" But now, [it's] even more
challenging, due mainly to huge hiring
bonuses offered by bigger employers
at present, " says Leonard, adding that
AMI is down five employees from the
52 the company had pre COVID-19.
30 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / January 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 8
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 9
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 10
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 11
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 12
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 14
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 15
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 16
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 21
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 22
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 23
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 31
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 35
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Women's Summit 1
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