The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

Diversity in the Manufacturing Sector w/ Andrew Crowe and Justin Sherman


The manufacturing sector is desperate for more diversity in gender, generation, race, ability, and other underrepresented populations.

Quite frankly, the situation is dire. Your business won’t survive unless you create a more diverse and inclusive culture, both organization- and industry-wide.

In this episode, I interview Andrew Crowe, Founder of the Elevate Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Justin Sherman, Founder at Equity Machine Works SPC, about attracting young, diverse talent in manufacturing.

Here’s what Drew, Justin, and I talked about:

  • The extreme numbers that show the need for diversity in manufacturing
  • The strong connection between culture and diversity
  • Strategies to attract young folks to a manufacturing career
  • What leaders of diverse teams should and shouldn’t do
  • First steps in how to grow a more diverse team

To ensure that you never miss an episode of The Manufacturing Executive, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or here.

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They may not one of bloom burghers. They don't want to work their retail jobs, but manufacturing is none of that and we're paying higher weights. They just don't know that it's here and if they do not, it's here and they might have tried it, then they might know not have been accepted. So they're back home, but they want to work. Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving midsize manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and a CO founder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six I've talked about the skilled labor gap and resulting labor shortage with a lot of manufacturing people over the last year and I've heard this topic addressed from a variety of angles. Robotics, reassuring apprenticeships, job shops inside the walls of high schools. All of these are amazing things and viable solutions, and they all work even better when you start putting them together. But not until my conversation with today's two guests did I really hear anyone talking about one of the most viable solutions to this massive skills gap problem, and a solution that's right under our noses, and that's advocating for diversity in the manufacturing workforce. I think today's episode maybe the most important one I've recorded to date. So if you listen to this and you believe in what these two incredible manufacturing leaders are saying as much as I do, please share this with someone you know. On that note, let me introduce my guests. Drew Crow has been referred to as the leader of the new American manufacturing renaissance. Drew is one of the leading minds and movers on the front lines and the critical battle of closing the workforce and skills gap in the manufacturing industry. He's one of the most sought after speakers and consultants in the space, teaching manufacturing industry leaders how to reach higher and retain the next generation in manufacturing. Drews also one of the leading influencers responsible for growing awareness of the industry among our youth and is at the forefront of training the next generation of skilled manufacturing industry leaders. He's doing the work to build the bridge between the manufacturing industry, the youth and our communities through collaborative efforts, organic reach and private and public partnerships. Justin Sherman is the founder of Equity Machine Works in Washington state and a thought leader on workforce development and organizational culture. Justin focuses on collaborative engagements, breaking down barriers and compounding strategies to grow and diversifire industry your workforce. He travels to consult for businesses and GEO's and local government in support of their efforts and for speaking and media engagements for the industry. Justin's background, knowledge and experience lend him unique skill sets to address some of our overlapping community and industry challenges. This, coupled with deep empathy for all stories and his thrive and help thrive mentality, make justin a force for positive and productive change. Drew and Justin welcome to the show, guys. Thank you very much. So excited me and excited to have you guys, and since since we first talked in person a month or two ago, Andrew and I actually got to meet up in person in the flash for a beer, which was pretty awesome. Here in St Louis a rock. Well, it had been, at my all my listening one of the coolest places that I've seeing. And saying, Louise Man, I appreciate the invitation. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, the two of us in a great half. It was. It was we. Andrew, drew, I'm always calling you andrew drew. I'd you go by both. But we met up with Chris Lukey, who I'm sure some of our listeners know, host of manufacturing happy, our podcast, another one you should be listening to if you're not anybody who's WHO's tuned in in here, and this is this is at the look. One of the things I just love about being a podcast host is just the people I've met. And you know, drew, you you're say, Louis Guy. Never knew you. I like, I saw you around a linkedin a little bit and then more and more over the last year, as you've really kind of see to pick up steam there and stuff, but it's just cool the way I think this podcasting experience has connected me to other people who are influencing manufacturing and hearing their stories and making me smarter. So, but yeah, it was it was great to actually see somebody in a flash, you know, after this year and three months plus of covid and stuff. So we had a had a seventy degree like which is not, not common in St Louis, for anybody doesn't know St Louis, and once June rolls around it's like s in humid. So anyway, those good stuff. Well, guys, we have...

...a very important topic of discussion lined up for today. I'm thrilled to have you both here because you're doing some stuff together. You've also got different backgrounds and unique perspectives on this topic and we've got a lot to cover. So I'm let's just get right into this thing. Yeah, let's go for it. Awesome. So I'm going to tea you guys up with a very broad question to kick this off. Why is diversity in the manufacturing sector so important, and why right now? So, I mean, in simple terms, your business won't survive if you don't engage with it. You know, we got I guess you know about to get into, but you know, really kind of just comes down to the fact that common culture is changing. The demographics of the hope our nation are changing and that's continuing to happen, and those that engage in this space more effectively, you're going to be the ones that that win. So I mean it. You know it really matters, but you know from that, you know the more important thing is, I guess, you know, creating opportunity and inclusivity within our industry and really making it more attractive to, you know, younger, more diverse generation overall and really making these these workspaces, you know, something folks want to be a part of, particularly when you know we're looking at competing with other industries. If you look at Sat Louis, you know we're both very familiar with it, and San Louis is a city that looks like a lot of the major cities. It kind of mirrors the Chicago or Detroit where a lot of the manufacturing has left the city proper. We see the effects of the jobs that leave, the tax money that leaves and the opportunity that leaves along with it. Right. So our cities, in our inner cities, are they're dying and they're getting a little bit rougher because it seems like there's a lot of scarcity and manufacturing is one of the things that can solve those scarcity issues and those jobs issues, because most of our entry level jobs pay very high so we definitely have to bring it back and include the areas that most of the population is going to need it. Number One. Number two, you know, we're in a field where, you know, we're creators, right, and and we're innovators right, whether we're making parts that we've been making the same way since like the s or nineteen fimpies, we're thinking of new processes. There's new tools that are coming out every day. We're trying to make that process more efficient and faster so we can spread out our Martin's right, and when we have a lot of people that come from similar backgrounds, with similar experiences, you don't really get that diversity of thought and we're leaving out a lot of different angles and creativity and innovation that will help us compete on a global scale, because this is a global market, you know, and this is a global industry, right. So, like, like justice said earlier, it's critical at this point we're looking at the the jobs that are coming back that are unfilled. We're looking at all of the restoring efforts and the maid in USA resurgence, and none of that means anything if we can't actually deliver on that promise and deliver on those statements by making the parts right. And when other fields are becoming more inclusive and they're becoming more, you know, diverse, it's more attractive to the youth that are looking to get into jobs. So, you know, it's turning off and turning away some of our talent, most of our talent in and we're losing out on our sector because of it. We can't effectively close the skills gap without, you know, addressing this as a core issue. You know, we definitely plan on getting in this and demographic numbers later to kind of, you know, explain with hard data. You know what this looks like. But you know, we've already got a tremendous amount of open jobs and as retirements continue to accelerate, you know, assuming we don't have to, we find out what the data looks like from covid and how many retirements happened. Happened through that. I know of bowing there were ton and so that's going to mean a lot more open jobs, but restoring means demand increasing a lot and you know it's just going to it's going to compound a crisis level. You know, if we're not even if we're not considering where it's at right now that and so engaging with, you know, a larger potential workforce and ways that, you know, see them include then attract them to this industry, that's going to help us close that skills gap a lot faster and the demographics were going to go over later is going to point that out. So let's go then. Let's just get into a while we're talking about it. You know what is? What is the demographic because I know you guys have some some data you've pulled from some studies and things, but what what's it look like in the manufacturing sector for people who may not really realize how how extreme some of the numbers are? So if we go just, you know, straight for gender demographics, fourteen percent of manufacturing is female, but that doesn't account for...

...skilled position. That's not just skilled positions, that's everything, and US and most anybody else is going to be listening to this podcast and look back on their experience and see what what that typically ends up look looking like. And so if we sort of like center down to machine is, you know, drew and eyes background, it's ninety five or it's ninety, sorry, ninety four point nine percent mail, so five point one percent. Know, and how this makes impact is when when men are the only representation or you know, we could really kind of like do this for anything, where it's like, you know, if there's only one group that is the only representation or the dominant force or the only ones in power, only decisions are kind of made from their perspective and they can't necessarily know exactly how to sort of like properly engaged like otherwise. It's why different like thought reversity is super important, but it also creates, you know, cultures that are centered around maleness, right, and if we think about, you know what that looks like. You know when when we're growing up and you know everything that we see and you know it doesn't create an inclusive environment for women and you end up with things that really are a lot of the stuff that we that ends up turn and folks away. So there's you know, I have personal connections to folks that have left industry because of basically like just oppressive like gender focus, like dress code requirements, you know. So have quite literally got two contradictory stories where like, women are not allowed to wear skirts because they're too distracting, and then the exact opposite, which is women weren't allowed to wear pants because they were too masculine. Like we don't even know if that's necessarily legal or not, but nobody's really doing anything about that kind of stuff. These stories aren't on a common and they're sort of born from this sort of, you know, demographic disparity. That happens right. If you had, if you had when and at the table making the decision, they definitely would have been putting that rule in there right and so that's just like one small way that it impacts things. Has Eighty five point five percent white, in fact, ring and you know that is definitely not the makeup of, you know, our racial diversity in this in this country either, and so you have a lot of severe underrepresentation for other folks that play out in the same ways that you know, I kind of just describe for women, and you know, it makes a big difference and there's, you know, generational impacts right, and we know how big those are all the time, you know, because everybody talks about generational differences. It's like a you know, favorite pastime of all ours. But the average age of an adult US worker is thirty three and a half, but the average age of a machinist forty five point eight. And that bill curve trends on the older side. This is where all the retirements become so risky and you know, are sort of lack of success and sort of like drawing up at large scale younger folks into our industry. We're not, we're not catching up, and so this is why, you know, going back to the first question, like why does it matter now? Well, we're looking down the barrel of a gun right now, really at the ownership level. So that's a that's that's just happened chining in in, you know, administrative level, and the ownership level it's even worse. You know, it's even more one side. So when you are in industry that needs to attract something different to survive, but you've been doing something one way for so long, it kind of our industry got to the point where a lot of things that are not accepted anywhere else are just like every day happens, things right and we look past a lot of things, are we, you know, let a lot of things happen and brush it off as where machine is? With the generational gap, we have a huge issue of old school new schools. It's every shop you walk into there's old school, there's new school, right, and you hear that that vernaculate here, that language, and you got the older machinist with all the knowledge and stuff and they're feeling like, you know, they can't keep up with the technology or these young guys are going to take their, you know, position. So we have these weird like hazing rituals and like these rites of passage that don't make you a better machine is nae times of the ten, don't make you want to stay in the field. But, you know, in order to like, you know, feed your family are, you know, across the burning sands of machining, you have to like go through these weird, you know situations in like like hazing rituals, and we are one of the only feels that, you know, that type of thing is kind of normal, you know. So we're super archade, but because we've been that way for so long, it's like that's what people expect and it's okay, right. So once we start doing things, things like, you know, putting people in positions and diversifying the field, that's how you a attract the people that...

...we need to fill these jobs. So if you can't see somebody anywhere past you know, an operator that looks like you, you don't believe that this company is going to help you move through life and build your career. You don't believe that this industry is something that is a career. A lot of the shot owners that we can solve with and speaks to say, you know, they can get people to do applications, they can give people to come in and maybe start training for thirty days, but they don't stay. Maybe even ninety days, but they don't stay, and that's a bland issue of culture. Once they get inside of the building, they're not seeing something that's going to be a return for their investment, for their time. So people are in there, were attracting them, but we can't keep them because inside the systems, in the cultures and what we've been doing for so long are turning people away and it's not even worth the money and it's not even work the in senses that we're growing to try to get people attracted to this industry, because it exactly like the culture ends up playing such a big part, and that doesn't mean like culture and diversity in this case or not the same thing, but thinking about, you know, demographic makeup of this space. So what happened to us, you know, and the late s early is all this outsourcing that's going on, tons and tons and tons of job lots. The way that you kept your job just by having more skills than the person next to you. Right, it's like, you know, knockdown a bees nest, you just got to run faster and everybody else right's like that's it. And so it creates a very, very competitive culture and in security around questioning of your ideas, right, and so what we ended up getting was this very sort of like guarded and, you know, often at times sort of aggressive work culture. That's that's that's been developed here. You know, it's this is why, you know, we're trying to focus on collaborative engagements and you know, I, you know, Joe, when I hear you, when I hear you pitch Chris's Podcast, I'm like, yes, this is it. Right, like we're all community and so and this is the sort of expectation of the younger workforce. And you've seen other industries make this change already to people focused, you know, leadership, right, rather than just bottom line focus, leadership. And that's the move. That's the new man American manufacturing renaissance and it's it's about collaboration, it's about this younger generation than saying hey, you guys have not listen, you guys aren't listening, you're not letting us in what we love this industry so much, love American manufacturers so much. We understand how important it is. So we're going to take it amongst ourselves. Could just start doing to start collaborating with each other, to start sharing each other's platform, to start sharing everything that we do a live and to help it be more visible and to help people get in and see, you know, podcast like yours. See Chris, looky, see you know, my face, see justine space and hear about the things that you might not see it in your your immediate company, you might not see it immediately right now, but we're out here and we're making the changes, you know, and and the the results are going to speak for itself. Right. So eventually, when we keep going, we keep doing these things, and people start knocking that door down, everything is going to have to change, right, because it's going to be financially viable and it's going to be, you know, sink or swim, right as it's an exciting time, honestly. I mean seeing, you know, getting to be a part of this change and then watching it happen and, you know, content like this. You know, these topics that we're talking about are the topics that have this. Everything under the Sun has been talked about as the reasons for skills gap issues, except for this. And now it is happening and you know, it's folks are getting excited to talk about it, because there's a lot of people that have been thinking this way but not really feeling like they had to space talk about it this way. And so now I think you're right. I think you guys are. I think you guys the fact that you're shedding light on on this and and as it relates to this, the skilled labor gap, and you know, the challenge that just about every manufacture I'm talking to right now is having a sweet you know, we're I talk to somebody this morning and she said she's like, I used to get excited when orders came in and now I just freaked out because how are we going to get him done right? And and here you are with with, you know, a perception of manufacturing that it's the dirty, dark, dangerous thing, right and and you've got a lot of people out there who could be who could be engaging. I mean, drew you, you know, I know your work at Rankin and and you've been engaged. You are an African American male in St Louis working with the youth to get them interested in manufacturing. And and I mean what what better place to go? I'm just curious. What do you see in from what do you see in from young folks as as you all of a sudden you shed light on what a...

...manufacturing career could look like and you show them your path. Like. What do you see and how are people responding to that? is or excitement? It's overwhelmed, because when I was younger and I was in the field and you know, I was trying to figure things out and teach myself, it was very hard going through all of these things that come along with being the only other person right. And then it was something that I didn't encourage people to get into. I didn't even really talk about what I did because, you know, I didn't want other people to go through these same situations trying to pursue, you know, a chet or, you know, a better lie, you know. But once, you know, I found myself in a position where I could to start making some changes and I started consulting with companies and speaking to them. I saw that most companies in our field want to do something. They know that it's an issue and they want to to to fix this thing the best that they can, right. So that was very encouraging. And then as I started getting out into the field and I say, okay, the companies are going to hire you guys. They want, you know, to give you an opportunity, they want to, you know, help you, you know, get into this field. And I start telling these young people what this field is and they see what it's done from my life and I can show them real positions and real careers on the back end where they can apply these skills. And these companies aren't just, you know, you know, just random names. Are Companies that are local, that they know and that they know that they've seen somebody work there that went through my program and it's becoming more real to them every day. And then with the new technology that's coming in industry. For a point. No, they're so excited because now they're seeing that the skill said that they have and they grew up, you know, honing, is covered in this field, is going to be something that's going to help push this field forward. So there's an excitement as far as you know, being able, yeah, like to get into it and exciting factor of life. Wow, I didn't even know that this thing existed. It's a career that's going to take care of me, like in a good way, and I can grow out. You go to sales, I'm going to program me, I go PSYC think, whatever they want to do. There's so many options and it's a whole new world that's open to them. And and more importantly, what's more exciting for me is their path isn't going to be, you know, like my path or like many people's path before me who came from, you know, maybe the other side of the tracks or you know, came from, you know where minorities are, just whatever it may be, because this is an issue when there's people like us now that are fighting the fight and talking to talk and making sure that you know these these these companies are receiving them well and setting them up and giving them a platform to show their skills. And you know, you're part of company. So it's amazing. On top of that, when I get a student that comes in or just a person that comes in, nine times out of ten it's not because they have, you know, a particular interest in manufacturing or maybe they didn't even know Nini the ten they didn't know anything about it. Right. It's really the the career in the life change that's tied to getting into this field. So when I get a kid that knows nothing and then, and you know, to semesters or semesters, he's working in the field and now he's running five acts machines and, like you know, Etm's and, like you know, all these different things that he had no idea existed and he's getting paid twenty dollars an hour, is life changing. And they call me and it's all exciting. They always thank me. But with manufacturing, I don't I can't run the machines for you. I can't, you know, you know, hit your numbers. I can't, you know, program for you. They do that. So you know they think me, but this is what manufacturing does. I'm thinking me, think the industry. Right. It's great, guys, you've hit on diversity from a few angles. What like I would when we say diversity, what does that mean to you, guys? What are we talking about? You know, is it's not just about race. It's not just about male or female or age, like what what? It's everything. So tell me more, unpack that a little bit, tell us, tell me to tell he listens more about that. Yeah, so, you know, gender and raiser like really sort of quick and easy to go to, but you know, he's sort of common. Culture isn't particularly you know, Queer accepting as well, right. Or some jobs can be hard to make accommodations for disabled folks, but not all of them, and we see lots of social enterprises really doing a great job there. And so it's about like this this I idea of just overall inclusivity, right, like making making these...

...spaces sort of like accommodating and welcoming to everybody, and it really like boils down essentially to like empathy, right, sort of like the ability to kind of you know, see the other person, quote quote. Right. That's really what everybody needs. And when it's when we're talking about sort of like communication efforts on these topics, that's typically where the challenge lies. It's folks aren't actually seeing, you know, the other person right there, seeing like they're their perception of the other person, but that's, you know, not actually based in reality. So messages get sent, but they're not received in the way that that they are sent, and so that's that's the thing that we're really trying to sort of like do a lot of work around, is talk about these things in relatable ways, discuss, you know, some of the demographic changes and sort of like overall, sort of like macro level stuff that made everything what it is, because none of this is something that anybody, like anyone person, bears any responsibility for. And and this is where, you know, drew and eye and others like us can really kind of like help a lot, because those that added you don't know what you don't know right, and so I see a lot of very well intentioned efforts fall flat because, you know, the folks that are making the decisions around with those efforts look like aren't connected enough to really like know what you know. They're their target, you know audience actually needs. And so we see again like lovely, kind of well intentioned kind of efforts but that just completely miss the mark and in some cases end up like working against them, which is like that that hurts, because then that becomes a discouraging factor. And and so so you know, I guess you know, if you're a business leader that's listening to this, that you know you want to do something but you're not really sure. Like take the time to reach out to a consultant of some kind and and get that help, because I promise you, if you were confused right now, you're not ready to make those choices and you want you want some help kind of learning everything that you need to need to know to do all this stuff the right way. We give you a couple examples, right. So I spoke to a company, an owner of a company in this out and the owner was like, you know, I'm having this problem, you know, getting the workers and keeping the workers and also, you know, I try to get workers skilled up and you know I'm scale, you know, to you know, not just be operators but program different languages and all of that right, and he's like out of I think it was like seventy eight people that were eligible only for went through the training program and he couldn't understand why nobody wanted to take this and he put a ton of effort into this and aligned with standards and just did a lot of work. But you know, I asked them. I said, well, when someone goes through the program, how do you incentivize it or how do you show them that you know, this was, you know something that we cover it as a company? And he said, well, we give them a token and then the challenge points specifically yes, and then we put their name on a ticker and the lunch room and we call them out like, you know, clapping all that and those types of things are things where maybe his generation really coveted, right. So his generation, he even said, you know, I would go to work and I work my butt off to get one of those things and I take pride. And this is a different generation, right. So his generation had a lot of those man's loss hierarchy needs met by their entry level jobs. There was a strong middle class, right. So he didn't have all of the same needs that they you have today. So a coin may have been something at that time that meant a lot, but today kids are struggling with high costs of housing who they're struggling with real deal things where their dollar isn't really stretching as far as his generation. So a coin, they can't feed their kids with it, they can't take it to another to the bank, they can't take it to another company to recognize that. So it's really kind of meaningless and that's why people don't want to do it. We have to talk to the youth and allow them to say opportunity to talk back and let us know what they need so that we can help each other and collaborate. Another one was a company that has a location in the south and then they have a location of north and Minnesota or something right, and they were like, you know, our or company in the south, five hundred CNC machines all pull Minnesota. We can't get anybody. You try to get people from, you know, neighboring towns and all that, and I suggested why don't you offer housing and do an internship program...

...over the summer? And if you offer housing you can lower the pay and people come out there and then they'll be able to see over the summer what it's like and they'll be more likely to stay on after they graduate or, you know, the prinish program or anything like that. He couldn't understand it. He's like, oh no, never work. I came immediately to the machinist who are looking for jobs in my classroom. I said, Hey, guys, what are things that would make you go to a company and stay there? And light of like high pay or a location that you like, the number one thing that they said was house. Housing is important to the you these days. So Nice saying that. You know, everything has to be changed and everything has to be flipped on its head or everything has to be different and we have to do everything that they want us to do going forward. It's not about appeasing anybody. It's about saying hey, I need you, you need me, we need some things together and I can help you and you can help me and as we grow this thing and we close the skills gap, we can reassess and see what it looks like then. Now, how do we move forward? But the first thing we have to do is say, Hey, this is not old American machining. Old American machining and those old systems and how we came up. This isn't anymore and if we continue to operate the way that we've been operating, we're pushing the youth away, especially in this digital age where, you know, they could stay at home and they can, you know, three designed for somebody else. They can do whatever they want to. They have mobility do with with with jobs, going more online, zoom, all of these different things that we are accustomed to using and their experts are using after, you know, a year and a half, two years of staying at home every day doing this type of things, their digital wizards. So if there's anything that they don't like in a particular job or particular shop, they don't have to stay, they can go, because every shop needs machinists. So they have the the mobility that we didn't have back then. So this is a whole nother classic group of people that have a ton of different issues and situations that weren't the say, for us. So unless we speak to them in a way that that we can understand and what we're seeing, what they're saying, does, we're not going to understand and we're not going to set them up, you know, to come here or as they what you're saying here, drew, that is just sticking out to me and just kind of screaming at me loud and clear, is we need to listen and you know, Justin earlier you mentioned the word empathy, and I think that sums it up pretty well right, like we need to understand that, you know the workforce and what they want from us and how that's changed over the course of a generation plus, and listen to them. I think your example of the housing example is just amazing because, I mean here you have an organization that can't find people to do the job and is they're making assumptions about what people want. You go back to your classroom and I asked, just ask them right. What would you guys want? Housing? We need housing like that would be that would be amazing if we had housing that would take us out of our city and put us in another city for a job. If we knew that that could could be taken care of. And I mean you think of the costs, that the opportunity cost of not being able to fulfill orders. You think of, you know, these machines sitting here empty right with nobody on. You think of the cut what they're probably spending to recruit in other ways. And here you have a very simple need that. And Yeah, of course there's a cost to that, but the return is exactly like you said. And then, on top of that, we know that, you know, studies show in every industry that workers that feel happy and they feel respected produce way more, almost like three eggs, you know. So let's going to open your margins. And and again, this is a digital culture. These are kids, right, so information spreads so fast. That's that's that's what they do, you know. So if we do things like that, the first thing that they're going to do is put it on ready or they're going to put it on instagram. Are they going to put it on all of these places where they are? And that's going to need the thing right. So No, you know, you can go and go work for this company, hang out out here and pay for your housing and nine times up ten. You know, the kids will take half of what you would pay another machine is, you know, to be up there that you don't know is going to stay. You know. So it's simple things that won't even take like a chunk out of your budget. Is just rearranging the same money that...'re paying people now, like you said. So we've got to see these things, just in a different life. Another thing, you know, our industry is big on. I don't need a website, I don't need a digital presence, I don't need you know these things. Work them out. He does the same contracts. My GRANDPA has been running with the running these things for years. You can to Joe's expertise right now. So so. So we on on the the youth in an attracting the talent side. The first thing that kids these days are going to do if a job offers them or they're looking for a machine shops to work in, they're going to google. They're going to Google rule, they're going to see, they're going to look it up, right, and as they google, they're for to look for a website. And for these kids that's normal for them. They've been shopping online, they've been watching videos online, they've been teaching themselves online. They become millionaires online, right. So these kids the first thing that they do is hot online and they check machining right, or they check specifically your company and then they see an old website. That's going to turn them off, right. So they think old website and credit company, old machines don't want to go to the right no matter if that's true or not, or they don't see the website, the first thing that they're going to see from your company, most likely, is an indeed review or glass door review, and if they have something bad to say about your company or if the reviews don't look like something, that young person who's eager and wants to get into the field is going to want to see your cut out there too and they'll talk about it online. Right. So, where you don't have a digital presence, they're going to put one for you and they control what it's saying or what it's not saying. So, you know, small changes, small changes that we see and we have, you know, an idea from other industries that versify going digital, having web presents, doing digital content. It all all gives you return on investment and we have case study, aver case study, ever, case study, and we still don't do it right. So we got to make the change. We got to make the change and you know, it's not just for the youth, but it's for the companies, is what yeah, so I guess let's like it's some of that so fifteen percent more likely to have above average profitability your if you have the verse, the Verse Company, this one's bigger. A thirty five percent performance advantage if you have a gender diverse executive team versus not, and this is just like it's an immediate kind of pocketbook piece. Gender diverse teams outperformed by twenty one percent. So you got like above average profitability. So that fifteen percent number, you're moving up the bell curve. You have a thirty five percent performance advantage, and this is like you get diversity of thought and and that's you know, that's the thing that the company really benefits from. And then employees or benefiting from being in a more accepting and welcoming place. I mean, you know, it's like think about the difference of what it's like to you know, exist in, you know, sort of a an anxious headspace because you know people are aggressive or you don't feel like they're seeing you at all. You know they're constantly saying stuff that's like clearly not what they ought to be. But you can't. You just have to be there and bear it or you know, what have you right or you know, again like aggressive, aggressive workspace versus you know, being happy for the third of your life that you're committing to your career. You know, like the health benefits that that has. I mean it's the changes in organizational culture have like deep and vast and like interconnected, kind of like positive outcomes when you go towards that, that model of people focus leadership, and that looks like, you know, folks can look this kind of stuff up, but servant leadership, humble leadership, approaching things in vulnerable and humble ways and helping kind of create relationships with your staff so that they actually feel comfortable coming to you. And you know, you create good feedback loops where you get you get data coming from everybody all the time, like, you know, like what's good what's not. Makes your company more agible, like you become quicker to respond to things. But then again, you also have these differences in ideas and and this, and those difference in the differences and ideas are the things that, you know, along with some of the others, directly contributes to those performance advantages. And Women on on leadership teams. You know, if we think about the sort of like standard kind of trophy stuff that that might be out there, you know, around what what male leadership looks like versus female leadership, if we're talking about, you know, servant leadership, humble leadership,...

...vulnerable leadership being sort of the the more productive model here. Like it, it almost makes a media sense. You know how how this works. But you know, companies need to a really specific and kind of direct changes, move with a lot of intention, like going forward and and you know, thinking about empathy. I mean that's like, you know, all directions. You know, like people do have to be given kind of this space to fail, because that's where learning occurs. You know, the couple of the best places that I've ever worked that performed to insane levels, like quite literally, like I mean cutting down the Times on complex projects from like two weeks to two days, like nobody else. Nobody else was even able to come close to that. And it was through this sort of like fail fast mentality, right, like we support failure, right, that's this is where we learn and then we become the best this way, right. But like old school thoughts were like, Oh, you know, if if you do something wrong, like you know, we got to cheer. You're asking the next time you're out. You know, even if it's like totally different context and you know, persons learning and growing and it's everybody makes mistakes. I got to have room to right. I do want to make this point as well, that diversity include an inclusion is not a simulation. So when he talks about empathy, diversity and inclusion doesn't mean higher women that act like us here or hire, you know, black and Brown people that act like our culture, that do the same things that we're doing, that are bad. Right. So what what the target here is? And to get his return on, you know, on the diversification and all of those things, you have to get people and you have to empower who they naturally are and there what makes them diverse. Right. So, you know, not saying like this guy is hired here because he drives the same trucks as us and hunts and you know he's got our confederate flag on his toolbox. To Hire, you know I'm saying. So, it's more so of WHO's the best person for the job? Do they have skills? Can they do this job? And then we covered the uniqueness about where they come from or who they are that is different than what we have here, and we take their differences into account and they take ours into account. So what we're having these meetings are, we're having programming meetings, are we're trying to figure out a set up, or we're, you know, trying to do these things. Is Not all of the people like US put into it and not this person, you know, everybody and all of the angles are considered equally and then you build from there. And, like Justine said, that empathy allows you to have the empathy and the safe space of being able to fail safely allows you to have a penetration of understanding at every level of your company. Right. So if, in the the saw guy knows that his job is secured, knows that, even though he does not maybe look like our come from or speak the language or, you know, do the same activities outside of work as everybody else in here, my opinion and my you know, when I say hey, this could be better, it holds the same weight as everybody goes and I'm not going to lose my job because they're all right. So, guys, I can't help but to think that some percentage of those people listening right now are thinking with fully good intentions. Okay, yeah, this diversity issue in manufacturing is a problem, but I'm trying to keep the lights on here and I'm trying to build a profitable business and I can't make this a priority with all the other fires I'm trying to put out the things we're trying to achieve as a company. What can you guys say to that, knowing that probably a lot of people, a lot of leaders manufacturing organizations, probably would like to embrace diversity, maybe they just don't know where to start or how to how to start moving toward building a more diverse organization and they're feeling overwhelmed. Like what actionable advice can you give them to get them moving in the right direction? To tackle the first part of the question that you asked there, I would just kind of want to bring it back to right where we started. Like your organization is going to struggle, destruct to survive if you don't take actual steps. In the short term it's going to look exactly like it did, but eventually you're going to see others grow and you won't folks leave your shot up to go work at others, etcetera, etc. So you know it's going to be important and it's going to hit you where it hurts for sure. Things that you can do. So when we talk about like hiring Consultan, what a consultant would do is sort of like come in, talk to you about what your goals might be like, you know, do an audit and then make sort of like nuance kind of contextual recommendations. But there's some sort of like overarching, kind of generalize things that can definitely... done, which is, you know, introducing work flexibility wherever you can for those sorts of things. Right. That's a that's a huge, like top, top item specifically for like millennial generation younger like work life balance super, super important from sort of like the cultural and inclusivity sort of like aspects of things, like modifying your holiday policy to not just you know focus on, you know, the sort of like traditional holidays that we've kind of like grown up with, because those aren't the holidays that everybody celebrates, and that actually has never really been the case. It's just only one type really have, and so you can modify things to give folks a lot of like flex days for holidays so they get the opportunity to choose for themselves and the ownership over all of that. Right like that, that's a big, big piece too. And then start doing some studying around, you know, organizational culture change and sort of like leadership just in general, from this sort of like servant leadership aspect, you know when you when you change over to people first leadership, like you benefit eiven out of this entire process and you know, getting, I guess you know, finding that point that I lost earlier for a moment. You know that this perspective piece, you don't know what you don't know. Everybody benefits when everybody is around different folks, because now you sort of you start building intrinsic understanding and, you know, exposure to things that expand your perspective. And so you know the business is benefiting, but every single person in that organization benefits in a strong way their own personal development through their abilities kind of like understand folks that come from different backgrounds, if like. But I want to draw back to that. But yeah, you're jump in. So I would say number one is to do exactly what you just said. Say I want to change it. It's important to me. I don't know how. As soon as you say I don't know how, then that means you begin to either look for that knowledge or see somebody that already has it that's already doing right. And in manufacturing, like you said, there's so many fires all day every day and most manufacturing executives are great at debt, being a manufacturing executive, and if they could make the change, we wouldn't be in this situation that we're in right now. So You keep being great at what you're great at and say I don't know this, but is important and it and we need to do this, and then talk to somebody that does reach out and connect and collaborate with people that do reach out and collect, connect and collaborate with other shops in your immediate area that may, you know, be doing some things that are working right and collaborate with schools, collaborate with the local like urban league, and and find where the workers are. There is a youth job list situation going on as well. Like there's there's youth people, there's there's teenagers that want to work. There's, you know, twenty two, twenty four year old that want to work right. They may not want to flip Burgers, they don't want to work the retail jobs, but manufacturing is none of that and we're paying higher wages. They just don't know that. It's here and if they do know that's here and they might have tried it, then they might know not have been accepted. So they're back home, but they want to work. Everybody wants to Hork, you know I'm saying. So they're here. Connect with them. If you have a machine that has work and it's not running, it's not making you money right now. It's costing you money. So put that machine into one of these community organizations, teach somebody. They're or have hire somebody to start teaching people how to run those parts, and now you have production and you have a pipeline of workers that can come. So it's all about collaboration. It's all about saying I don't know how to do this, but most importantly, it's about saying that I need to prioritize this, because I can almost guarantee the most of the fires that they would be putting out wouldn't be fires if this thing was taken care of a while of the right and we all need to contribute. Absolutely and we're where. Is that bad? We got to work together now, you know. So I want to talk about Workforce Development Program so you know it's a background. Drew, drew and I both have a background in this, but connect with them, you know, connect with your technical colleges, connect with the trades programs that are in your area, become an advisory board member. That stuff helps a lot. That helps them, it helps you. They get access to the information that they need to the third delivering on what the industry wants out of out of the students that are coming out of their programs. They get the support, they get thought diversity with the more people that are coming into to do that and, you know, you become a part of that collaborative,...

...collaborative effort to help for everything. Because really, with all this resharing pressure, and you know we've got bills in the works that are going to be bringing a lot more maint like attention to manufacturing, there's going to be money like getting dolled out to apprenticeship, apprenticeships, like those apprenticeships. If they're going to succeed that, they need support and we don't really need to be competing in the in the ways that we're used to, like we are going to be living in a period of abundance. It's going to be more work than we're capable of delivering on. We got to work together to figure out how to do that, because if we don't that works, going to go right back to where we're trying to get it from and we're going to be in the same position we were and we're not going to have that strong many backroom base that we want this country. Well, Andrew Justin. This was an amazing and incredibly important conversation today. I have a ton of respect for both of you guys and what you're doing. I really appreciate you coming on the show to spread the message they're working so hard to get out there in the manufacturing community. So thank you. Thanks for having US show and I'll be seeing you around town for sure, because I'll be in St Louis a lot more. Freuent, you know this. It's great to hear while we're throwing around. Thank you. You're important and thank you. You know the more than people committed to building platforms like this, people committed to, you know, promoting platforms like this, seeking out people that are that are that have important opinions and and you know, the thought leader that are that are changing the field. It is highly covided and it's so important to us and it's so important to the industry as a whole that we have these opportunities, you know, to have places that we can speak about this and you know, they're they're real and their authority figures in the field. So, you know, thank you for your dedication to, you know, manufacturing. Thank you, you know, for, you know, building this show and building this platform and continuing to build it and promote it and find the best people to put on it, because we need and so so thank you. Awesome. I appreciate you saying that. It's my pleasure to do so. It's an honor to bring guys like you who are doing good in the world on here and Ganda Spread Your Message. So if I can give the platform for that, then good, at least I'm doing something here right awesome. Well, I would love for both of you to tell our audience how they can get in touch with each of you and also just a little bit about each of your respective organizations, because you guys are both social entrepreneurs right now and both doing some really interesting things, both in collaboration but on your own as well. So talk about that a little bit, for we partways. Yes, I think easiest way to reach me is likely going to be on Linkedin. So we had a few different things going on, but if you know, if you're interested in Egrigo machine works learning more about what that is, I can go to egugomachine dot works. We got to know new age website address. And you know, our social enter prize is really focused on creating workforce development program that creates those that those collaborative engagements with outreach groups, pre apprenticeship groups, apprenticeship groups, industry organizations like local government kind of create a pipeline for folks that creates opportunity for disadvantaged populations and also works to increase adversity within our within our industry, through a variety of compounding strategies and breaking down barriers and addressing what might be some key challenges for folks that, you know, say, you know, if you're living in poverty, you're going to have that list of you know, how's it housing access, food access, transportation access, those things are going to be potentially problematic and nuance right, you might need to have tailored solutions for for each person. So that's as part of what we want to be doing with along our pipeline is to make sure that people are supported. So, you know, drew mentioned Mazzl's are archic needs. Earlier you know, court needs are met, you can't really go on to the next level. So make sure those are met. Now we're focusing on education. Now we're building ourselves up, and then there's we're going to hit a point where self sustenances. There and the rest of the history you know. And so what it looks like is going going from from outreach in a pre apprenticeship, completing preappreentshire training, doing our program Yearlong Ojt flee your first year of apprenticeship and at the end of that year you get placement services out into you know, partner company and that creates space for an opportunity for somebody else and then scale that up show others how to do something similar. There's a lot of opportunity to do things like this and definitely about helping anybody set up systems like that produce positive change for all of us. All right, so if you want to get in touch with meat, you could find me on Linkedin as well, Andrew Crow Crolwe and right now I am on because of launching our first highly program for Elevate Institute of Advanced Manufacturing, which is a smart factory industry, four point no factory and work wars training center and we are really focused on areas like St Louis with its high...

...crime and there's high youth unemployment, and we are using a manufacturing and American manufacturing to turn those things around and getting these inner cities and build them back up, bring the jobs back, bring, you know, the tax money back, build the schools up better and just use American manufacturing to change America. Man. You know, we're going to do the first one here in St Louis and then we are looking at cities like DC and Chicago and Detroit where manufacturing can do the same thing. So I am working closely with companies like the urban league foundations, I mean like the Urban League, and local organizations, the youth, the tension center on working with Youth, motherhood, single mother groups and the local city Cte program for the high school and we're just bringing that awareness, bringing these opportunities and bringing this access of bringing them back to the inner cities to get, you know, some of these people that have been passed over a good career and a good start on on some generational changes. In addition to that, we are putting the finishing touches on a manufacturing trailer. You see in a couple of these popping up all over and they're really great ideas to put it in people's faces and we're going to go to the local institutions and penitentiaries and put manufacturing on the map that way. I know Titan was one of the main proponents of you know, from from prison to the to the machine shop and thriving that way. I am am a fella myself, you know, earlier in my life I didn't have the access in the opportunities and I made some bad decisions and manufacturing change my life as well. So it's something that's more of a personal mission, but I think that, you know, it's an opportunity for people that want to change and want to, you know, do better and rebuild. It's the perfect opportunity. So that that's what I'm on going across America and pushing this new American manufacturing renassis. I love it, guys. Well, once again, thank you for your time today, thanks for bringing this message and as for the rest of you, I hope to catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy, you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles, videos, guides and tools specifically for be tob manufacturers at gorilla seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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