Since 2021, businesses have been grappling with the Great Resignation, the latest talent challenge that’s sweeping the nation; and while this is a fairly recent problem for most businesses, this is an age-old challenge for the manufacturing industry. From unfilled jobs to skills gaps, American manufacturers are all too familiar with workforce challenges that can cripple an entire business.
According to a study done by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, over 4 million jobs will need to be filled by 2030. With many industry veterans retiring each day, and not enough talent coming in to fill those vacancies, it’s critical for manufacturers to not just improve their recruitment efforts, but to also focus on how they retain talented employees.
Actively involving and developing employees is one of the most successful approaches to talent retainment. At Hirsh Precision, our efforts to develop our talent include creating career paths for our team members, providing opportunities for them to cross-train and expand their skillset, and maintaining a culture that prioritizes learning and self-improvement.
Earlier this year, we sat down with our Inventory Manager Caitlin Burg, who has been a member of the Hirsh team since 2011, to discuss her career progression, Hirsh’s role in her professional development, and how that’s contributed to her tenure at the company.
What brought Caitlin to Hirsh Precision?
Prior to joining Hirsh Precision, Caitlin had a background in customer service, inventory, shipping and receiving, but she hadn’t found a team where she could see herself developing her talent and growing her skills for the future.
When a friend recommended her for a position with Hirsh, Caitlin was immediately drawn to the team’s supportive environment and a company culture that emphasized continuous improvement. These resources, combined with a company that was poised for growth, encouraged Caitlin that this opportunity could be a career, and not just another job.
Let’s take a look at Caitlin’s 11-year journey at Hirsh Precision and the evolution of her manufacturing career.
A Manufacturing Career in the Making
Caitlin began her journey at Hirsh Precision in packaging, but it wasn’t long before she progressed to part cleaning, assembly, inventory, issuing and kitting. After becoming an expert in these areas, Caitlin continued adding to her skillset, and started managing activities like customer service, purchase ordering, job orders, and production control.
Along the way there were many team members to support her learning process, opportunities to learn new skills and technology, and an environment that allowed her to find success in whatever role she found herself in.
“[Hirsh] created positions for me, so I grew really quickly with the company as it was growing,” said Caitlin.
When Hirsh brought its new Louisville facility online for inventory and complex assembly operations, Caitlin was asked to help lead those new efforts as the company’s Inventory Manager.
Individual Success Equates to Company Success
As companies all over the world, manufacturers included, consider the challenge of talent retention, Caitlin’s journey with Hirsh Precision can serve as an example of how having the right career development opportunities and resources encourages employees to stay and grow.
“[Hirsh] was a place I knew I could stay, and I knew I could grow, too,” said Caitlin.
As an employer, we have an obligation to create an environment where employees can pursue their career goals. In turn, our goal is to empower team members and give them the support, resources, and opportunities they need to enhance their skillset and grow into new roles.
Not only is this essential for talent recruitment and retention, but it’s also critical for our company’s own growth and success. As our team members grow in their individual careers, it feeds directly into the level of quality and services that we are able to provide our customers.
Additionally, as Hirsh has grown and added capabilities, team members like Caitlin have stepped up to pioneer and drive these new activities. Our steady growth over the years would not be possible without their skill and dedication.
By providing our team with the resources they need to uncover their talent and take ownership of their career development, we are able to:
- Improve performance and productivity across the company
- Reduce skills gaps
- Engage and retain our employees
- Prepare for future work and growth
Our success as a company is largely tied to our dedicated team members who have chosen to develop their manufacturing careers with us.
As we look to our plans for the future, Hirsh Precision continues to search for ways we can support our team members and their career development. To learn more about our career development opportunities, check out these resources: