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A Different Way to Hire

By AICC Staff

September 21, 2021

width=620In recentI have used this column to encourage and cajole employers to abandon the hiring practices of the past. Efforts to attract and retain willing people to manufacturing will fail if the primary workforce supplier is a temp agency. As of this writing, manufacturers are facing immense backlogs and inadequate numbers of candidates for employment.

I have proposed a three-part plan to attract willing candidates and to grow their capability on the job. An essential part of that plan is to dedicate at least one person in your company to local workforce development. Given the changes in the workforce and prevailing wages, this position should pay for itself many times over. What might this job description entail, you ask? Excellent question—here is a draft.

To equip member companies in their efforts to attract and retain the right employees, AICC’s Packaging School is continually developing resources. These include education, assessment, and reference materials.


AICC’s Packaging School now has more than 100 courses, with more than 20 in Spanish. At least 10 new courses will drop this fall, on subjects ranging from sales to production to innovations in technology. As travel restrictions are lifted, destination courses have also resumed.

Worker Preparation

While there are too many to list here, a few have been mentioned above. I believe every member could benefit by using a quiz and two courses prior to sending a person to the work center: 1) The Packaging Math Test is an online quiz; 2) the Packaging Production Math Course teaches the basics; and 3) Corrugated Basics is an introduction to the industry and prepares the candidate for the work environment.

A new resource has been added to the AICC Packaging School to plan and track training in every department. Designed in Excel for use in companies that have not invested in a training database, this free resource helps plan and track education in procedures, safety and quality protocols, and online and in-person training. The Training Tracker is available through AICC’s Packaging School and includes an introduction and demonstration, as well as written instructions.


Additional resources in development include a Machine Primer, which will allow the curious to click on any packaging-related machine to see a description, a depiction of its major sections, and a video of it making product. Also in development is a catalog of carton styles rendered in 3D and described according to their primary use.

All of this is intended to say that while I will continue to cajole members to improve hiring practices, we are also working to provide the tools to aid your progress.

width=110Scott Ellis, Ed.D., delivers training, coaching, and resources that develop the ability to eliminate obstacles and sustain more effective and profitable results. He recently published Dammit, Learning Judgment Through Experience. His books and process improvement resources are available at AICC members enjoy a 20% discount code: AICC21.