Let’s face it – most people don’t grow up fantasizing working in woodworking. Even after flying, firefighting, policing, you-tubing, instagramming, snap chatting, and countless others are exhausted – some may like woodworking as a hobby or reminisce about the walnut cabinet they built in their shop class – but even fewer still see it as a viable long-term career choice.

The key is to attract a future generation of woodworkers to your business by developing a nurturing relationship with local educational facilities. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Locate and engage your local educational facility and instructor.
    • Identify the institutions in your area that teach programs for your industry.
    • Meet with the instructors, program heads, and students.
    • Attend coop/internship nights with younger members of your team.
    • Ask for an opportunity to speak at the event.
  2. Attract potential employees from this pool.
    • Create short and long-term apprenticeships from 2 weeks to 8 months to give potential employees a taste of your company.
    • Apprenticeships are among the top reasons for the success of small and medium-sized businesses in Germany and Switzerland, as they provide these companies with a steady stream of well-educated, hands-on employees.
  3. Identify what these people are looking for from you and present your business in a light that these people will respond to in a positive manner.
    • Create a pipeline of potential employees in your CRM much like customers.
    • The historical attitude of “I pay you” so you must go out the window.
    • Educate yourself on the motivations and desires of Millennials and Generation Zs.
    • Mentorship – Create an opportunity for young people to be mentored by industry veterans.
  4. Change the perception of our industry for the parents.
    • Attend parent information night to network with parents.
    • Ask for an opportunity to speak at the event.
    • Show examples of recent/past successful employees.
  5. Make your facility more attractive to young people and differentiate from your competitors.
    • Why should they work for you and not for your competitors?
    • Renovate your facilities. Out with the old, in with the new.
    • Find a designer that understands your goals and invest to make those changes.
    • We may not be able to compete with tech companies on fringe benefits, but we can still differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

For too long our industry has ignored inspiring young people and it’s finally caught up. We must punch above our weight to not only differentiate from competitors but also from alternative industries. The right investment and effort in our people efforts will pay dividends for years.


An award-winning visionary entrepreneur running a successful multi-million dollar business in the often overlooked and seldom understood building products industry. Currently in the process of accelerating operational excellence through leadership and business development. Our business model is scaled to fit the value chain of our customers so we have lots of repeat business and unlimited growth potential.