Look for some younger faces to be walking the floor at October’s World Millwork Alliance (WMA) convention and trade show in Phoenix, which is set for October 9-13. The organization is DSC_1004 offering complimentary registration to students to view the millwork exhibits and meet with industry professionals on October 12.

Any student planning to attend can pre-register until September 26 by completing a WMA student registration form located on the WMA website.  After September 26, students must register onsite at the WMA registration desk, located in the Phoenix Convention Center across from the North Exhibit Hall A & B. Pre-registration forms may be emailed to Mail@WorldMillworkAlliance.com. Students must show a valid school, college or university student photo identification at the WMA registration desk to obtain a student pass for exhibit hall on October 12.

According to Rosalie Leone, the CEO of the WMA, recruiting young workers to the millwork industry is vitally important as demographic changes sweep the U.S., leaving many industries — including the skilled trades — desperate for fresh workers.

“In the next few years, human-resources professionals are predicting a considerable change in the workforce,” Leone writes in the August-September issue of DWM, which will be available soon. “Millennials — approximately 80 million people born between 1976 and 2001 — will make up nearly half of all U.S. workers by 2020.”

At the same time, millions of baby boomers are retiring — and they’re not being replaced by the up-and-coming generation.

“Our industry is not attracting these young people,” Leone writes.

WMA’s day for students targets college and high school students, but it’s just part of many efforts the organization has to recruit younger workers. For example, there’s its GenNEXT program, which was implemented to educate younger professionals and provide networking opportunities and resources for them in the industry. On October 11 during the WMA convention, there will be a social night geared exclusively to industry members under 35.

Additionally, WMA will hold a panel discussion entitled “The Millennials: Preparing a New Generation for Leadership Success” during the convention.



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