Here we are in between the post pandemic era and a possible recession.
We see conflicting economic indicators all around us. Interest rates are rising, the consumer price index moves up and down, the stock market is like a jumping bean, basic living commodities have increased, wages are on the rise and unemployment is at a very low point. Put it all in a box and shake it up and where do you end up in all of this?
With so many topics to have lengthy discussions around as we try to solve all the world’s problems, I’d like to discuss just one piece of this. Employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US unemployment rate was an average of 3.7 percent for the last quarter of 2022. Overall, that is great news for our country and shows we have a healthy and formidable workforce. Other countries are still in double digits.
But what about for those of us looking to fill open (and sometimes critical) positions? That’d be like standing in a crowd of one hundred people and only four are unemployed. If you were to set up a table and show you have open positions, you’d be lucky to get any of those four people to apply.
So, what are your chances of getting candidates that are qualified for the skill sets you need? Drop it down a level and what are your chances of getting candidates that have the aptitude that you can train. Next level down poses the question, what are your chances of getting a candidate who wants to work?
We all realize it’s a competitive market to sell products and services. Add onto that, it’s a competitive market to obtain one of the most valuable commodities that your business requires: employees.
Nationwide Marketing Group and Service Leaders Network recognize this. We are always looking for ways to help our Members improve their business capabilities. That said, Service Leaders Network, which is the appliance service support division of NMG, has been working with the Department of Labor (DoL) to tap into resources that are little known by the employer community.
Did you know that the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans affairs have programs to assist employers in recruiting, hiring and training new employees? Did you know there are available federal grant funds available to employers? These funds are not loans, they are grants, basically free money.
DoL Apprenticeship Program Overview
Congress allocates funding to the Department of Labor (DoL) to promote employment and economic growth throughout the United States. These funds are generated through taxpayers like you who pay the portion of salary called FICA and corporate earnings taxes. The DoL then distributes the allocated funds to different divisions within the DoL. Two of those are the workforce division and the veteran’s administration division. The workforce division is focused on the general public job seekers. The veteran’s division is focused on active and nonactive military veterans who are now seeking employment in private industry.
The DoL has created a vetting process called Apprenticeship Programs. Job seekers and employers must become a part of a DoL Apprenticeship Program to be eligible to receive these funds.
Residential and Commercial Appliance Technician (RCAT) Apprenticeship Program
Of the 200+ current apprenticeship programs within the federal DoL, the RCAT apprenticeship program is a new apprenticeship program. Nationwide Marketing Group and Service Leaders Network created the RCAT apprenticeship program, and it was certified in July 2022. Now that NMG and SLN have created this apprenticeship program, NMG Members can apply for funding to help offset the costs incurred in hiring appliance technicians.
For more information on how to become involved, contact SLN Educational Development Manager Carmine Dionisio at carmine.dionisio@nationwidegroup.
Mark Pollitz is the director of service for Nationwide Marketing Group.