Steel Products

The NexGen-eration of Steel Workers

Written by Becca Moczygemba

How do we attract younger people to the steel industry? The NexGen Metals Community was established to solve that problem.

NexGenWe were privileged enough to have the group sit down and bring to light how the working landscape might evolve in the coming years.

Without question, having a great place to work is essential to attracting new talent. The NexGen group pointed out that millennials are consumers of the workplace and look for meaning in their work. If you’re going to spend a significant amount of your waking hours doing something, it should be fulfilling. “Younger workers are looking for something more personal, a place where they belong,” expressed Ciara Bunch, member of the NexGen panel. “We want to show up as our best selves and be challenged. It’s important that our voices and contributions matter,” she continued.

The pandemic was a catalyst for “The Great Resignation” that impacted all industries, proof that this generation is not simply seeking a paycheck, they want to be valued. “Gen Z and millennials are willing to leave organizations when we feel like we’re not heard or cannot impact change,” stated Bunch.

So how do we not only attract, but retain, new talent? NexGen suggests reevaluating the work environment as a whole and implementing flexible work arrangements, addressing corporate concerns such as productivity, accountability, and loyalty, as well as integrating better work-life balance and curating an amiable work environment. Additionally, Ben Snyder stressed the importance of benefits and including mental health care as a key component.

In a world where working in technology is attractive, manufacturing will need to step up its game. The current impression of manufacturing is antiquated. While more industrial organizations aren’t necessarily creating railways with anvil and hammer anymore, perception is everything. State-of-the-art facilities that integrate highly technological machinery can be utilized as a marketing tool to draw in new talent, but it doesn’t stop there.

Although younger generations aren’t showing up solely for the money, providing competitive wages is a substantial contributing factor. When companies are reporting record profits and six-figure bonuses for CEOs, but the hourly wage for desk-level or factory-level individuals doesn’t reflect the business’s success, friction may arise.

In short, the status quo is changing.

The NexGen Metals Community is an organization for those 40 years old and under who have established a career, or are just getting started, in the metals industry and are looking to deepen their experience. There is no cost to join NexGen and you can find more information here.

Have some news or just want to chat? Email me!

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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