Best Practices
September 12, 2008

Quality Float Works – Recruiting and Hiring Untapped Talent

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Throughout the country, communities both small and large are in the midst of economic change. While traditional industries such as manufacturing continue to decline in many geographic areas, some companies are finding a competitive advantage when they strategically plan for workforce shortages in their region. Recruiting and hiring from untapped labor pools is one way Quality Float Works, a small manufacturer of metal floats in Schaumburg, Illinois, is continuing to experience economic growth during such uncertain times. Sandra Westlund-Deenihan, president of Quality Float Works, believes this has been one of the biggest keys to her success. Of Sandra’s 26 employees, 11 are minorities, four are women and four are veterans. "We bring in non-traditional workers, such as low income people and individuals with disabilities. We provide whatever skills people need to be successful," says Westlund-Deenihan.

In a recent Industry Week article, Quality Float Works was featured as one of a handful of manufacturers that were seeing the benefits from seeking out individuals who were skilled and qualified, but not coming from traditional sources. Sandra believes that providing basic skills training alongside on-the-job training is a key component to her success over the past few years. As her company grows, Sandra is well aware of the challenges she faces when finding and then keeping qualified workers on the job. Businesses that choose to integrate work support programs and flexibility into their daily operations are positioning themselves competitively as being the most attractive places to work.