Global Fastener News

Retirements Loom Over Fastener Workforce

Retirements Loom Over Fastener Workforce
August 22
22:40 2022

When it comes to workforce challenges in the fastener industry, a significant problem is retirement, according to a panel participating in a webinar by the National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA) and Young Fastener Professionals (YFP).

“We’re seeing a lot of our good leaders getting ready to retire in the next five years,” stated George Hunt, Midwest regional manager for Brighton-Best International.

When it comes to working your way up, Hunt knows firsthand what it takes to succeed.

He started out as a high school senior sweeping floors in a BBI warehouse. Now he serves as BBI’s Midwest regional manager.

“Find yourself an experienced leader and stick close to them,” Hunt advised young workers. “Knowledge is infectious and the young generation are smart kids.”


Solutions Industries GM Tim Vath advised better marketing to combat misconceptions about a career in the fastener industry.

“In general our industry is undersold,” Vath noted. “We don’t sell the sexiest products… It’s up to leaders to ‘sell’ the industry to younger generations.”

It’s next to impossible to find manufacturing personnel, Hunt noted.

“No one wants to get their hands dirty. No one wants to work in a warehouse 80 hours a week.”


For Melissa Patel, supply chain director for Field Fastener, misconceptions of “younger” workers need to be adjusted.

“There’s so much out there about differences in generations, but Millennials are now 40 years old. They’re educated, they’re motivated.”

Because of this, Patel doesn’t treat them different from older employees.


Hunt added that employee success comes down to company culture, not some divide between older and younger generations.

Differences in generational attitudes can be based on philosophy.

“For the younger generations, it’s a work hard, play hard mentality. ‘I’m gonna give you 100% while I’m here but when I punch out, I”m out.’”

Older generations bring knowledge and experience to bear when solving problems on the job. However, Vath cautioned against experienced older workers guarding information from younger workers.

Hunt offered this advice:

“To older generations: Adapt. Change. Be open to differences of opinion. To younger generations: Be patient. This isn’t going to come in two years. The more patient you become, the better off you’re going to be.”

Moderator Mallory Nichols, VP of business development with Advance Components, asked panelists about finding and keeping new talent.

Cast a wide net, Vath advised. Utilize job sites and social media to reach as many prospective employees as possible.

“Never burn any bridges. Always leave on a good note. Always be looking.”

Hunt’s advice focused on mentorship.

“Surrounding yourself with better people than you is a must,” he noted. “This is an industry that you typically jump into and never get out of. Your word, your handshake is important.”

What benefits/skills can a newbie bring to a company?

They bring other perspectives that opens up the minds of others around them and challenges the status quo, Patel observed.

Hunt agreed.

“The best thing we can do is bring in a fresh set of eyes.” Web:

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.

error: Content is protected !!