What Do Young People Want?
MSCI Carbon, Specialty Metals Division Conferences Contemplate This Question
The Metals Service Center Institute held its annual Carbon Conference Feb. 19-20 in San Antonio. More than 225 metals industry executives and employees, economic analysts, and leadership experts attended the event, which asked important questions about future growth, trade policy, digital disruption, and how the industry can continue to attract new talent.
On that latter question, MSCI Vice Chair and CEO of Samuel, Son & Co. Bill Chisholm moderated a discussion with students from the renowned Texas A&M Industrial Distribution program. Chisholm asked a fundamental question: what are the factors that today’s college graduates consider when selecting an industry or career path?
The students’ resounding answer was that they want a company, and an industry, that has a clear mission and is working to improve individual lives, and the world. Unfortunately, the students said they actually know little about the metals industry and how it impacts their lives.
Surprisingly considering the fact that the average young Baby Boomer had 11.7 jobs during their career, one student said students today are “looking for longevity” and to grow in a company. Young people actually “don’t want to move” and understand the “benefits staying with same company.”
Students also noted that the ability to take advantage of internships is crucial. Most students have completed two to three internships before graduation. Offering these opportunities to undergraduates is an excellent way to offer an entry point into the industry.
MSCI’s Specialty Metals Division Conference, which will be held March 12-13, and its Annual Meeting, which will be held May 5-7, will each also feature a panel of Texas A&M University students. We’re excited to welcome Bill Sales, executive vice president of operations at Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., who will moderate the Specialty panel and Dr. Donald McNeeley, a clinical professor of Engineering at Northwestern University, who will run the discussion at the Annual Meeting.
As Chisholm noted in his remarks at the Carbon Conference, the issue of how to attract talent is important because nearly one-third of the metals industry’s workforce and management team will retire within the next five years. We encourage MSCI members to attend the Specialty Metals Division Conference to learn how companies can prepare for this wave of change.