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Manufacturer Invests in Town to Draw Employees

Pella Corp.—a manufacturer of windows and doors—has a pioneering approach to retaining and attracting new workers, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

The challenge: For years, the company has had trouble enticing workers to move to its headquarters, which is based in a rural Iowa town of about 10,000 residents located about 45 miles from Des Moines.

The effort: To combat this challenge, Pella and its controlling shareholders have actively worked over the past three years to create the kind of services and resources that can attract workers to its facilities—from housing, to childcare centers, to restaurants and an “indoor entertainment center.” The investment has already totaled tens of millions of dollars, and the spending is expected to continue.

Why it matters: “A hallmark of the labor market in the past two years has been a mismatch of job openings and job seekers,” according to the Journal. “In a tight labor market, companies have had trouble finding the workers they need in the places they want them.”

  • “A pandemic-related rise in remote work also allows some workers to choose where to live based on quality of life and cost of living, rather than nearness to offices. Some employers have boosted salaries or added signing bonuses to attract the workers they need.”

Creators wanted! The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted tour stopped in Pella back in November, and Pella Corp. provided activities and inspiration for the students, teachers, mentors and others who stopped by to check it out.

Further reading: In May, The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM—released a study on how manufacturers’ efforts to attract and retain workers has changed industry compensation practices. Check it out here

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