Every month, hundreds of LBM Journal readers share the business challenges they’re wrestling with in response to our Real Issues survey. One topic has been consistently dominant since these surveys began in 2011: attracting young talent to our industry.
The graph below, from the 2020 LBM Journal Readership study, bears that out. In an industry in which only 6% of its people are under 35, and nearly 60% are older than 56, it’s clear that younger pros are seriously underrepresented. With many of the experienced pros among our ranks nearing retirement age, it’s more important than ever that we address this reality.
Your LBM Journal team is determined to do what we can to help effect change in this area. First, we’re going to spotlight companies that are actively working to connect young people with the rich and rewarding world of residential construction and construction supply. Curtis Lumber, profiled in our October issue, also shares the story of how their work to help build interest in the trades is paying off in attracting young people to their ranks.
Second, we’ve studied other industries which face the same challenge, to learn what we as a media company can do, and how to get the maximum impact for our community. That’s why I’m excited to announce the launch of the LBM 40 Under 40. Our goal with this program is to celebrate the growing class of young, strong leaders in the LBM community. This program will recognize LBM pros under the age of 40 who demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment and excellence in service to their companies, customers, and communities.
It’s a fact that the LBM industry offers an incredible opportunity to build rewarding careers, doing important work of helping provide homes for families, while earning healthy incomes and establishing a good quality of life. You know it and I know it. That fact will resonate loudest when it comes from the young pros who are living it. That’s why we’re going to let them share their stories.
Check out the LBM 40 Under 40 program, and let’s follow Curtis Lumber’s lead to inform young people about the opportunities that await them in our community.
— Rick Schumacher
Executive Editor & Publisher