In December, UGA MBA Student Charles Simpson wrapped up 11 months of research and idea-generation by presenting the Dalton-Whitfield Archway Partnership Executive Committee with strategies and tactics that the Flooring industry can use to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Specifically, Simpson shared the following strategies:
· Strategy #1: Create content and experiences that link flooring industry attributes to middle school students’ aspirations for power and beauty
· Strategy #2: Create content and experiences that tangibly illustrate to high school students the advanced technology and variety of opportunity in the flooring industry.
· Strategy #3: Spark a dialogue about Dalton’s role as an incubator for tomorrow’s engineering and manufacturing innovations.
· Strategy #4: Thrust the flooring industry to the forefront of the national dialogue regarding sustainability and energy/waste conservation challenges.
· Strategy #5: Tell Dalton’s story to “rust belt” migrants in search of engineering work and “30-somethings” who are seeking a community suitable to raising or starting a family.
Simpson gave the committee several tactics to accomplish each of the above listed strategies. In addition, Simpson articulated brand “pillars” that the industry can use to influence the manner in which the tactics he provided are executed.
As part of his presentation, Simpson identified the key audiences that the strategies and tactics should target. These audiences include the future workforce (middle and high school students); “thirty-something” professionals in large cities considering a move to locales such as Dalton to start or raise a family; Dalton’s education community; the flooring industry; and the Dalton community. Simpson stated several times that Dalton should purposefully seek to position itself as a family-oriented community within the heart of a multi-billion dollar global industry.
Following Simpson’s presentation, the Successful, Sustainable Industries Issue Work Group met to discuss how the strategies and tactics could be implemented locally. The Work Group is chaired by Mohawk Sr. Industrial Engineer James Gordy and is co-chaired by Rick Hooper of Shaw Industries Group’s Corporate Legal Department.