Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 32

PLAYING
DETECTIVE
Knowing why your current
employees remain with you
can help hone your retention
and your recruiting strategies,
says Chad Sorenson, president
of Adaptive HR Solutions
in Jacksonville, Fla. He
recommends conducting
" stay " interviews.
" Unlike a reactive exit
interview with a resigning
employee, a stay interview
talks with current employees
about why they joined the
company and why they stay, "
he explains. " Find out why
employees like to work for you
and use that to recruit new
employees. "
Other tips he offers
include proactively engaging
employees since engaged
employees tend to remain on
the job, recognizing their hard
work, and-very important-
trying not to burn them out.
" This is hard, particularly
when you're short-staffed, "
he admits of that latter
suggestion. " But it will help
retain employees. Extra pay
isn't always the answer-it
doesn't get them home any
earlier. Sometimes it's a
thank-you and buying lunch
for the team, or maybe it's an
extra PTO day. "
also had success previously by using
a service that specializes in recruiting
staff members from Puerto Rico. "
Finding and keeping
Labor shortages have also compelled
Michael M. Woody, CEO of Trans-Tex
LLC, to become more discriminating
about the projects his company
accepts. The Cranston, R.I., company is
a finisher of narrow webbing, printing
the webbing via dye sublimination
in multiple colors, typically turning
it into lanyards, pet leashes and
collars, wristbands, headbands and
shoelaces. Pre-pandemic there were
85 employees; this has dropped to 60.
Supply-chain issues in China-
the company's direct competitor-
presented Trans-Tex with " some very
large opportunities, " which it declined
because they would have required
the company to " at least double "
its workforce in order to meet the
deadlines, says Woody, explaining
for now, the objective is to hire
up incrementally.
Skilled cut and sew employees
have always been in short supply, says
Woody. Looking toward a longer-term
solution to the labor issues affecting
the textile industry overall, he has
become involved with the Rhode
Island Textile Innovation Network
(RITIN), an association of R.I.-based
textile companies, where he serves as
chair. RITIN's objectives are helping to
close the skills gap; collaborating with
colleges, universities and government
agencies; providing problem-solving
assistance to textile companies (this
has also led to some internships
and hiring); and creating business
opportunities for members.
" RITIN has partnered with
the Department of Labor and our
local [Manufacturing Extension
Partnership] to create cut and sew
32 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / January 2022
training programs, " says Woody.
" We're also in the process of trying to
create a training program for machine
operators. [A challenge]
is that each company operates slightly
different machinery. To solve that
problem, we're backing Sen. Sheldon
Whitehouse's proposed legislation that
would pay a retiring employee to train
his or her replacement.
" Attracting young workers isn't the
type of challenge that will be solved
quickly, " he continues. " We need
to change the hearts and minds of
children and their parents, convincing
them that the textile industry provides
a solid career path. "
AMI is involved in a four-year,
$60 million effort undertaken by the
State of Maine to address workforce
shortages through virtual training and
an educational center, says Leonard,
adding the company has just begun
creating virtual training modules
for its key operations. This team will
include the production supervisor,
department heads, current trainers,
HR managers and, as needed, others
to help in video production and
uploading onto the virtual platform.
AMI intends to produce at least
10 training modules, one for each
department, says Leonard. Advisors
from the community college system
are helping with curriculum design.
Skrzynski uses automation-reverse
engineering, 3D CAD, CNC cutting and
plotting-to attract younger workers
excited about learning new technology.
As a result, five of the company's 13
employees are between 19 and 26 years
old. This has a feedback effect, he says,
with the younger staff appealing to
younger applicants.
He tackles labor shortages by casting
a broad net, using agencies, social
media, local papers and job posting/
recruiting sites.

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
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 13
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
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 33
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 35
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 36
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 37
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 38
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 40
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 46
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 48
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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
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Women's Summit 2
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