Member Spotlight - Wes Perry

June 2016

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

Wes Perry

PMA is pleased to highlight Wes Perry, human capital management consultant at CPI-HR, Solon, OH. Since 1977, CPI-HR has been helping businesses maximize their investment in human capital by partnering with client companies to deliver benefits consulting and brokerage services that not only enhance employees’ lives, but also improve efficiencies and client company profits.

Read Wes's thoughts about attracting and retaining talent in the metalforming industry, what keeps him up at night about the industry and more!

Q: The metalforming industry is always on the lookout for new talent. How do you think we can continue to attract and retain that talent?
A: Manufacturing needs to re-image itself into an attractive career opportunity for kids who would not normally consider it. The HR professional needs to present opportunities as career paths, not jobs—careers that provide sustainable income and development opportunities for people’s families.

Q: Are you finding an increased demand for human resources assistance in the metalforming industry?
A: Absolutely. New employees are leveraging technology, and so the HR pros need to keep up. But compliance is the BIG issue. The Department of Labor has hired more than 1000 new auditors nationwide. OSHA auditors seem to be on the warpath. And now we have the specter of IRS auditors following the Affordable Care Act reporting breadcrumbs back to the employer. With the overwhelming tsunami of employer regulations combined with a more vocal, expressive and less-than-loyal workforce, more than ready, willing and able to report dissatisfaction to the nearest website, running afoul of laws and paying the price for noncompliance is a huge issue. HR Directors can literally end up in jail.

Q: How would you describe our industry when seeking to attract new employees or retain current ones?
A: Overlooked. Too much focus on college education, not enough on manufacturing to sustain America as a global economic power. Not enough value on obtaining skills that are of value to the economy as a whole, like diemaking.

Q: In your line of work, what keeps you up at night about the metalforming industry and why?
A: What keeps me up at night is the talent vacuum that’s coming with an aging workforce. I had a CEO recently tell me, “For every one person that retires, I’ve got to hire three just to replace the knowledge base. That’s a concern.” This issue could kill this country.

Q: What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?
A: To not finish a job until it’s done the right way. That was instilled by my older brothers. I learned it the hard way back in Akron in the late 1980s doing hard labor like farming and tree services.

Q: If you could have a dinner party with three famous people (living or dead), who would you invite?
A: Thomas Jefferson, Rosa Parks and Robert Kennedy. Now THAT would be a great dinner party!

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