WorkForce Week February 27 - March 2, 2017
Report from DHan James 

For the first two days Katy Drive, ABC National’s Director of Membership, led a group of representative from various Chapters in exercises designed to connect the group to each other, share experiences, and explore best practices for retention and recruitment. It was excellent! We also got to meet representatives from our Discount Programs. They each did a short presentation, answered questions and showed us their offerings. They then did a kind of speed dating by going around to the room’s tables and personally talking to each of us. 

I received training, new ideas and questions answered about the database from Mary Schroer and Cassie Rhodes. The ABC database is dynamic and has the potential to really be of service to our Greater TN Chapter. Look for a request to come to update your contacts / emails for ABC. We are going high tech! 

Mark Perna, of TFS, spoke superbly about the makeup of the workforce we have now. He had stats, characteristics and points of view from three generational groups: Baby Boomer, Gen Xers (smallest) and Millennials (Gen Y and Z). He compared and contrasted these differ groups, offering tips on how to relate and bring out the best in each other, particularly Gen Y. This was all in the context of his promotion of this proven method to recruit, retain and graduate the best students for construction. His discussion on the Career Tree and his insights on how different generations look at the world were compelling. (

The National Craft Championships competition was just as exciting as anticipated. The competitors worked hard to do their best. They seemed to be honored and excited to be at Work Force week. It was great to listen to Chapter staff talk about the competitors they brought; they were all very proud of their guys and gals. 

The ABC Work Force Week was an incredible time of learning, sharing and encouragement. Best practices were shared and inspiring stories told. I felt blessed to have be given the opportunity to go, learn and connect with others.