The Last Page: Rising to the call of National Workforce Development Month
By Brock Huffstutler
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The Last Page: Rising to the call of National Workforce Development Month

You see it in restaurants, retail, manufacturing and so many other industries — companies are understaffed and finding it difficult to find employees.

Equipment and event rental operators are no different. That is why, with September designated as National Workforce Development Month, we take a glimpse at efforts the American Rental Association (ARA) and some industry players are making to plug nagging staffing gaps.

“The workforce development team has been actively exhibiting at regional career fairs around the country to spread awareness about the lucrative careers in rental at our members’ locations and enroll students in ARA’s new student membership,” says James Auerbach, ARA vice president, event segment and rental industry workforce development.

ARA also offers members an exclusive Job Posting Portal, where all job postings are seen by thousands of candidates and shared with many national and local job boards with whom the association has partnered including Monster.com, Military.com, CareerBuilder.com and many more.

There currently are more than 4,000 jobs posted on the ARA Job Posting Portal. More than 150,000 visitors to the site have viewed posted jobs, with nearly 1,000 “apply now” clicks. For a limited time, members can receive five free job postings on the job portal. To learn more, visit ARArentalworks.com.

Altra Rental & Supply, Ontario, N.Y., has found success in developing a recruitment partnership with its local trade school. The company participates in recruitment events hosted by the school, and its close relationship with the school’s business community liaison office has made an impact in getting students steered toward the company. “We’ve had a pretty good batting average with it,” says Judy Fishgold, Altra’s vice president.

Big L Rentals, Garden City, Kan., relies heavily on employee referrals and makes sure to compensate staff who bring in quality people. “In all honesty, the majority of our hires that last are existing employee referrals,” says Ben Blood, vice president. “If [employees] refer a new hire to us and they make it to six months, we pay you $500 cash. We essentially have our own team of recruiters in house that have a vested interest in finding people they want to work with, and think will make their lives better.”

Amber Caudill, manager of Midwest Rentals, Lafayette, Ind., sought and received certification through her state’s Department of Workforce Development to hire seasonal workers with authorization “to pay them our rate and offer them health, dental and vision insurance, but only for the time frame that we have them here.”

For Caudill, gaining this status means “we won’t be paying so much out in casual labor, we won’t have to keep them on staff through the winter and won’t have to pay unemployment,” and that, in addition to reducing her company’s overall expense for seasonal help, the certification enabled her to hire around 10 employees for summer help who were more useful than what she was receiving through temp agencies. “Summer help that came through the temp agency were not allowed to drive for us. Now we can put these [seasonal] employees on our insurance and have them help us with deliveries,” she says. 

Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

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