As long as our industry (and others as well) treat personnel expenditures as a cost to be minimized, it will hire in fits and spurts and deplete its ranks in like fashion. Young, bright men and women who are looking for a potentially stable source of income, progression, and security are wise enough to look at hiring/investment records of competing industries and companies. Sadly the pulp and paper industry in the US has demonstrated that its people are not its most valuable resources over time.
My first supervisor after I graduated, humbled me to a large degree by telling me that any idiot could get a 4-yr degree in 4-5 years but it took far longer to get 25 years of good experience. Later I was warned by another supervisor to be wary of the 25-year employee that really had only 1 year of experience repeated 25 times. Both of these men went on to demonstrate to me the value of choosing the right people in the first place then providing an environment where they can and are incented to grow continuously. Working for these men was a rewarding and over-all very pleasurable experience. They made me feel far more essential to their enterprises than the machinery, bricks, and mortar.
Edward A. Turner
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