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Six Sigma

Why Manufacturers Want Candidates with Six Sigma Experience

As a Mining and Heavy Industrial recruiter, my team and I are all working with dozens of manufacturing organizations across the country. Over the first three quarters of 2019, we have noticed several hiring trends throughout the manufacturing industry. Many of our clients are creating a massive push for candidates with Six Sigma experience.

But what is Six Sigma, and why are employers searching for candidates with these qualifications?

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is the methodology that helps organizations improve the performance, production, and efficiency in their business processes. It decreases variation, reduces defects, and improves your organizations’ quality. Essentially, Six Sigma “views all work as processes that can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled,” according to the American Society for Quality.

Six Sigma was the brainchild of Motorola engineer Bill Smith in 1980. Six Sigma was Bill’s statistical approach designed to increase profitability and reduce defects. These manufacturing principals generated billions of dollars for Motorola. By 1995, Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, made this philosophy central to his business strategy at GE and this philosophy soon spread throughout the manufacturing industry like a wildfire.

Why is it so valuable to employers?

Six Sigma saves manufacturers money by improving processes throughout the company. Thus, if a candidate holds one of these certifications, they are a hot commodity in today’s labor market. These certifications validate a candidate’s skills necessary to identify errors in a given process and find solutions to eliminate them. In other words, candidates with these certifications can improve your operations by eliminating inefficiencies and reducing waste.

So, whether your organization needs engineers, technicians, or QC/QA professionals, candidates with these certifications are highly desirable. If your operations require candidates with such Six Sigma qualifications, reach out to me. Our team here at Johnson Search Group has a pipeline of professionals with these certifications that are looking to make an immediate impact within a new company.

What Would Happen If The World Stopped Mining?

What Would Happen If The World Stopped Mining?

No matter what side of the fence you are on, one must agree that mining is a necessity in our modern world. Without it, we would not be capable of new technologies that allow us to advance; nor would we be able to maintain our current standard of living. So, what would happen if the world suddenly stopped mining tomorrow?

  • Automobiles, both gas and electric would disappear.
  • 27 States would lose 25% of their electricity output.
  • No nails to hammer projects home.
  • No more high rises, bridges, airplanes, trains, or space exploration.
  • Granite, marble, and anything steel in homes would be gone. Formica would make a huge comeback! Oops… it uses a white crystalline compound (borax). No Formica, either!
  • Anything plastic; molded or otherwise.
  • Nuclear energy?
  • Renewables? Well, that can’t happen without mining!
  • Like that Fitbit?
  • No more Televisions.
  • No more smartphones – or phones – period.
  • Computers, unfortunately, also gone
  • Not my Alexa??!!!??
  • No more going to the gym… phew! (at least one good thing would come of it)
  • Some medicines would disappear, and the medical advancements over hundreds of years would disappear. Need a knee replacement? Pacemaker? Dialysis? Surgery? Sorry.
  • Gold and Silver used in pretty much all technology out there – poof! A historical form of money throughout millennium – gone.

The World Cannot Do Away With Mining

We are too far advanced and too accustomed to our lifestyles for that to happen. The recruiting team here at JSG is privileged to work with some of the best clients and candidates out there. These companies and men and women of mining are responsible for the comfort in your life and the advancements in our technology. Instead of complaining about how destructive mining is; think about how deconstructed your world would be.

Is there a story out there in there in mining that you would like to see in my next blog? Please reach out to me and let’s talk! I love to hear personal stories and mining history from the mining family out there!

hiring challenges

Hiring Challenges in the Mining Industry

Over the past decade, the mining industry has faced many challenges. But probably one of the most significant challenges employers are facing today is pitfalls in hiring. Sure, every industry is experiencing difficulties finding the talent they need with a near 50-year low unemployment rate and a record-setting quit rate of 2.4 percent. However, the mining industry is having a particularly difficult time finding candidates to fill their jobs – some of which have vacant positions open for months. Here are three hiring challenges the mining industry is struggling within today’s tight market.

Skills gap

There are tens of thousands of skilled trade job openings in the mining industry. Whether it be electricians, I&E technicians, millwrights, or maintenance mechanics, there are not as many people entering careers in these skilled trade fields. In fact, by 2020, approximately 31 million Baby Boomers will retire from skilled trade positions. As a result of this gap, many employers in this industry will continue to struggle to fill their essential skilled trade positions. So, when you do find a candidate with the skillsets your team needs, you will have to offer them competitive compensation to attract (and retain) them to your organization.

Remote communities

Many mining operations are in remote communities with smaller populations. As a result, it can be challenging to find fresh talent to fill your vacant roles in the mining world. Many of the qualified workers in your community already worked for your operation and may not be interested in returning. Since the skills gap keeps growing, you may need to look outside of your local community to find the talent you need. And that means considering offering relocation packages.

If you are genuinely in need of talent, it may be time to offer a relocation package to those talented workers outside of your community. It may be bringing someone in from another part of your state or across the country. Unfortunately, in this tight market, employers often must look outside their local market to source skilled laborers.

Good candidates are a diamond in the rough

Mining professionals don’t sit at a desk and computer all day – they are out in the field working with their hands. Some of these individuals are working second and third shift, and thus, working odd hours. Sometimes, these individuals are working underground or deep in rural America, where they don’t have access to the internet or technology. Therefore, they may be more challenging to reach on a day-to-day basis. It’s more than likely you won’t find these skilled workers on job boards, LinkedIn, or their resumes floating around online.

Mining professionals are difficult to find. If your operation requires some assistance to find these elusive professionals, reach out to Johnson Search Group. Our Mining & Heavy Industrial division specializes in sourcing talented mining professionals throughout the United States. Partner with one of our expert recruiters, and let’s find the talent you need to keep your production fluid.

Recycling & It's Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Recycling And The Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Recycling & It's Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Everyone is familiar with recycling. Whether you have a bin at home, reuse your grocery bags, or even just print documents at work double-sided. But today I encourage you to look at the bigger picture. How is recycling impacting the mining and heavy industrial world?

Recycling Nickel

Tesla has recently noted that the global supply of nickel is potentially a limiting factor in growth for battery production. Assuming the majority of my readers are in the United States, what does that mean? Where does the US even get its nickel (Ni)? There has only been one active Ni mine in the US in recent years, with a large amount of the world’s Ni production based in Canada.

There are, however, hundreds of recycling companies that pull valuable materials from used batteries. Every time you recycle a battery, you are preventing a potential environmental hazard from leaking into the environment. Additionally, you could be helping the advancement of one of the most innovative companies of our time.

Speaking to the environmental impact, I work to place candidates with one of the major recyclers in this space. I know firsthand that they stick to the strictest environmental standards, going above and beyond the regulations placed on them. In partnering with them to find top talent, I work directly to find the highest caliber of candidates who not only meet but exceed environmental standards.

Paper Recycling

Another industry I recruit in regularly is papermaking. I think most people can count on one hand the number of handwritten letters they have composed recently, but that doesn’t mean that paper is on the way out! Consider print advertising, packaging for consumables (food), and shipping. When you recycle that box from your favorite online retailer, it’s broken down for the production of more paper.

In addition to reducing the raw fiber materials (trees), you can help reduce the volume it would take in a landfill. When organic material breaks down, it creates gasses, something that landfills have had to learn to manage and utilize. Paper and wood mills alike use waste to generate their own utilities. This further saves a drain on solid-state fuels and natural gas. I worked with a gentleman who was able to generate more recovery power than a primary power generator at a major paper mill.

Additional High-Impact Areas

The list of mining and heavy industrial components impacted by recycling is long. Asphalt is recycled and reused. The fly ash from power generation contributes to the manufacturing of cement. The dust from certain types of steel manufacturing can be recycled to recover materials. I have worked with mining companies that create their own water collection and treatment facilities. They then design beautiful habitats for wildlife. Some of the country’s top engineers and specialists remain on staff to maintain a healthy environment.

For consumers and companies alike, there is plenty of room to make an impact. Whether on the environment, industry, or simply the availability of products you use every day. For employers in the mining & heavy industrial space, finding the best possible talent is not quite so easy. If you have found it challenging to recruit and hire talented candidates who share your passion and commitment to the environment, let’s talk. I can connect you with people who will help you achieve production goals, equipment availability, environmental commitment, or financial control and forecasting. Reach out to me so I can learn how to help your company discover the talent you need to continue making an impact.

coal industry

Open for Discussion: The Fate of the Coal Industry

coal industry

Here we go again; or maybe not? The latest round of bankruptcies and closures came as a shock to many of the miners in the industry. At the beginning of July, Blackjewel Mine abruptly closed two of its operations in Wyoming, immediately displacing 600 workers and filed for emergency bankruptcy. Although some are saying that the mines closed due to poor management, it still has a devastating effect on the industry psyche.

U.S. coal mines were making a resurgence from the pre-2015 coal downturn, fueling feelings of optimism and hope. As a recruiter specializing in the mining industry, I witnessed first-hand, and with a heavy heart, the devastation of the last downturn and the mass exodus of coal miners from the industry. That incredible talent left the mining industry to pursue new careers, with no intention of returning.

The coal industry produces more than just energy

Coal is vital to our world. I personally do not see coal permanently going away, despite the talk. Natural gas has pushed coal out of the power plant business, but they too have their issues. Solar and wind power (green energies) take up too much valuable real estate; both of these are also scrutinized for harming the environment. Nuclear energy, also touted as green energy, has already proven just how much more devastating it can be to the environment; much more so than coal.

The good news is that data predicts global coal will continue to grow into 2022, even though the major players are scaling down. The coal industry shows just how resilient the people of mining are. The Mining team here at JSG is looking for mining professionals. If you are one of these displaced workers or just looking to further your career, contact us! We have dozens of job opportunities in the mining & heavy industrial industry.

skilled labor gap

Skilled Trades Gap in Mining and Heavy Industrial

skilled trades gap

As the year goes on, it’s interesting to see what today’s competitive job market will dictate. While recruiting day in and day out for my mining and heavy industrial clients, I have a relatively diverse blend of job orders. Usually, there are several management positions, always a Mechanical Reliability Engineer and Chemical Process Engineer, then the elusive “Process Control Engineer.” I am typically working on at least one EHS position at all times and a handful of skilled trades: electricians, mechanics, welders, and millwrights. And then there’s always just a completely random technical off-the-wall job order.

The skilled trades gap

This year, I have noticed a common theme with my clients: each one has numerous skilled trades job openings. Mostly electricians and millwrights, with some I&E Techs mixed in there. Needless to say, I have spent the majority of my year filling these roles, and there seems to be no end in sight. But I am not complaining! Clients are moving fast and candidates are getting great new opportunities.

As candidates get more selective about opportunities and hourly rates rise, clients who are not paying top-dollar and have a poor hiring process will continue to lose out. I believe this is due to the lack of candidates with entry-level skilled trades entering the labor market. For example, a senior electrician can demand top dollar – and get it. A recent study estimates that by 2020, nearly 31 million Baby Boomers will retire from skilled trade positions. As a result of this gap, many employers are struggling to fill their essential skilled trade positions.

Let us find your skilled trade candidates

Although I cannot personally solve the labor gap that skills trades face, I can provide a solution to your operation. If your company that is facing the common challenge of not being able to hire skilled trades positions, please get in contact with me. My team and I at Johnson Search Group are successfully sourcing these critical roles in today’s tight job market. And, if you have a background in skilled trades, at any experience level, get connected with me. You will want to hear about the opportunities I am currently working on!

5 Mining Tragedies – Not Forgotten

Mining Tragedies

Mining has come a long way with regards to safety. But sadly, we still lose too many of our mining family to tragedies. These men and women of mining put their lives on the line daily. All to provide vital minerals, hard rock, metals, and rare earth metals that have become vital to our lives.

Because I specialize recruiting into mining, I know that safety is synonymous with mining. Some of these disasters were caused by a pure accident; some alleged negligence, and others by safety violations.

This is a somber post, but a very important one to remind us that our lives can change in the blink of an eye.

Here are 5 mining tragedies that the world has not forgotten:

  1. The Vale Tailings Dam Collapse – Brazil

Vale Mining is the world’s largest iron ore producer. They burst into the headlines in January of 2019, with reports of catastrophic failure of one of their tailings dams. 154 people were buried alive in toxic mud and a total of 243 lost their lives, as the sludge flowed 5 miles downhill traveling through neighborhoods and covering farmland. This was the second dam break within three years for Vale. As a result, their stock price plummetted and it set the stage for Brazilian Prosecutors to consider filing criminal charges against them.

  1. Sago Mine Collapse – Sago, WV

On January 2, 2006, the town of Sago, West Virginia was changed forever. On that fateful day, 12 Miners lost their lives when a blast ripped through the mine trapping 13 employees in the 2 Left Parallel Section. The ventilation controls were damaged by the explosion and the men attempted to barricade the No. 3 Face. The incident garnered worldwide attention and became worse when officials at the mine released incorrect information. Subsequently, news outlets reported incorrectly that there were 12 survivors. When in fact, there was one survivor and twelve fatalities.

  1. The Hillcrest Mine – Canada

The town of Hillcrest experienced the world’s third worst mining disaster of the time on June 19, 1914. Unfortunately, 235 men entered the mine that fateful morning and 189 would not return home; about half the workforce. The blast ripped through the mine a little after 9 AM. Only 17 of the 189 men who lost their lives were born in Canada; the remainder were immigrants who were looking to make new lives for themselves and their families. Many of the miners were buried in a mass grave at the Hillcrest Cemetery and 9 days later World War I began. After that, attention quickly shifted from the disaster in Hillcrest.

  1. The Sunshine Mine – Kellogg, ID

Deep in the heart of Silver Valley of Kellogg, ID lies the Sunshine Mine, one of the most prosperous mines in the Silver Valley. On the fated day of May 2, 1972, 173 workers headed out to start work approximately 3,700 feet underground. A few hours into the shift, two employees noticed smoke and shouted out a warning to the other miners. Soon after, the toxic smoke overtook the miners. While many were able to make it out safely, 91 did not.

The small community was devastated at the loss of their friends, family, and neighbors. The cause of the fire was never found. Every year on May 2nd, people gather for the Miner’s Day Ceremony to honor and remember those who lost their lives that fateful day.

  1. Granite Mountain – Butte, MT

On the eve of June 8, 1917, 410 men were underground working their night shift at Granite Mountain. In an unfortunate chain of events, a carbide lamp set fire to an armored power cable, which quickly spread to a flammable oiled fabric. Then, the blaze caught the shaft timbers on fire. As a result, the mine rapidly filled with smoke and gas as the workers scrambled to escape. Out of the 410 men, 247 were able to escape, while sadly 163 perished. In the end, it took 8 days of concentrated efforts to contain the fire and rescue the victims.

The first priority and concern of all in the mining industry must be the health and safety of our most precious resource, the miner. Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969.

The People of Mining have heart and soul. I know, because I talk to them every single day in my line of work. Memorials are to honor the fallen and recognize the risks that these brave men and women make every day. In recognition, Congress has designated December 6th as National Miner’s Day to honor the sacrifices of miners past and present.

The 3 Most Wanted Mining & Heavy Industrial Positions

Mining & Heavy Industrial

As a recruiter who specializes in the mining & heavy industrial industries, I navigate the ever-changing landscape daily – from interesting new clients and candidates to new job orders and hiring processes. So far this year, my team and I have noticed several trends throughout the labor market. Here are the top 3 most critical positions that we are seeing across the mining & heavy industrial manufacturing.

  1. Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS)

Nearly every client of mine is looking for some sort of EHS Professional. These roles range in seniority, from specialists to global directors. EHS is certainly a must-need so far this year. With the importance of employee safety and environmental safety, EHS seems to be at an all-time high. Different states have different regulations to abide by. As a result, job descriptions and qualifications vary greatly from company to company. The good news is that EHS professionals are some of the best candidates to work with!

  1. Process Engineers

Oh boy, I swear everyone needs a Process Engineer. In fact, most companies are looking for several. With such a focus on continuous improvement projects throughout facilities, Process Engineers are in incredibly high demand. If you have a Chemical Engineering degree and six-sigma experience, get in contact with my team NOW! I believe every HR team is working on at least one Process Engineering position. This goes for just about all industries we work on including mining, aggregates, pulp and paper, and metal manufacturing.

  1. Instrumentation and Electrical (I&E)

The number one most wanted position in the mining & heavy industrial space has to be Instrumentation and Electrical. With mining and manufacturing doing so well in today’s market, everyone needs some sort of I&E position. From power systems to instrumentation and controls, this is by far the most critical role I have received across the board. Luckily, there are a good number of qualified candidates to fill these roles. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad time to have these skill sets and qualifications. In other words, I am seeing these candidates get great compensation packages. Electrical maintenance is a position I work on day in and day out. If you have an I&E background and are looking for a new opportunity, get in touch with me and my team.

Subsequently, if your mining or heavy industrial team has critical roles to fill in these areas, contact me today. I have a steady pipeline of qualified candidates ready to grow their careers and make their next move.

Mining Trends

Mining Trends to Watch for in 2019

Mining Trends

The Mining industry is recovering from a difficult couple of decades. Since October 2016, mining has been steadily growing in both production and job creation. While there are many factors that affect this volatile industry, here are a few mining trends to watch for in the second half of 2019.

Access to resources

As mining companies continue to extract mineral resources, we are seeing once fruitful areas begin to become exhausted. To accommodate, mining organizations have two options:

  • Use new technologies for further extraction and processing
  • Open new extraction and processing locations in areas that were once not economically viable

New technologies will also help make mining processes more efficient and economical. Organizations will be able to save time and money during processing, all while reducing waste. As a result, new plants or mines will open up, which will generate new jobs for years to come.

Transforming the workforce

In 2018, employment in the mining industry increased by an average of 5,000 jobs per month. And in the first half of 2019, average monthly job gains are over 1,000 jobs. This is great news! The mining industry as a whole has left it’s pre-2016 slump and has been steadily growing. However, the labor force as a whole is aging as Baby Boomers near retirement.

In fact, by 2022 more than one-quarter of the U.S. labor force will be in the 55-plus age category. To put it in perspective, the percentage of Baby Boomers who are now retired has doubled since 2010. In the mining sector, 27 percent of the workforce will be over the age of 55 in 2022. This is especially troubling because the mining sector is the fifth fastest growing industry sector with a growth rate of 1.4 percent over the next 5 years. To compensate for the aging workforce, mining organizations will have to find creative ways to attract younger talent.

There’s a skills gap

With a rapidly growing industry and a workforce that is aging, employers are having troubles finding and retaining skilled workers in the mining sector. There are 1.63 million more jobs than available workers to fill them, and the mining industry is feeling the effects of this challenge for employers. As the mining industry continues to digitize, employers have to find ways to attract younger talent and train current employees on new processes and technologies.

Mining is becoming more and more automated, and mining employers are going to have to make workplace adjustments. A great example of this is Rio Tinto, who recently announced a $2 million vocational education and training initiative to address their skills gap. Programs like this will help ensure the next generation of workers is prepared to make an impact in the mining sector.

Get the talent your team needs

If your recruiting efforts are stuck in a rut, our team can help you find the diamonds in the rough. Our experienced Mining & Heavy Industrial recruiting team knows the ins-and-outs of the industry and will help your team find the talent you need in today’s competitive market. Contact a JSG recruiter today!

Pulp and Paper Industry

10 Interesting Facts About the Pulp and Paper Industry

The Pulp and Paper Industry has been around for centuries and it plays an integral role in our everyday lives. Without even realizing it, we use paper almost every single day. In fact, there are over 5,000 products made from paper and paper by-products. From napkins to coffee filters to even shipping materials, we use paper much more than we typically think about. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Pulp and Paper Industry that you may not have known.

10 interesting paper industry facts

  1. Paper was first invented in China in 100 B.C. and the paper industry was officially created in 105 A.D.
  2. Paper was originally made by mixing chopped bark, hemp, and water. Then, you’d press it flat and let it dry in the sun to form paper.
  3. The first patent issued for a continuous papermaking machine was in 1799 to Louis-Nicolas Robert in France.
  4. Benjamin Franklin was the first paper merchant in America. He also helped start 18 mills in Virginia and surrounding areas.
  5. The U.S. Pulp and Paper Industry produces 78 million tons of paper per year, valued at $187 billion. Additionally, it employs 373,400 people with an annual payroll of over $30 billion and an average salary of $81,300.
  6. Every year, Americans use about 70 million tons of paper and paperboard.
  7. A single pine tree can produce approximately 80,500 sheets of paper.
  8. Paper is one the easiest and most inexpensive consumer products to recycle, and worldwide, 65% of it is recovered.
  9. Since 1990, U.S. paper recovery has increased by 76%.
  10. Ironically, the United States’ printed “paper” money isn’t paper at all. It’s 75% cotton and 25% linen. So, the saying “money doesn’t grow on trees” is certainly true!

Looking for your next paper career opportunity?

The paper industry is full of interesting facts and plays a crucial role in all of our lives. So, if you work in the Pulp and Paper Industry and are looking for a new opportunity, my team and I have several exciting opportunities across the United States. Reach out to me if you’re ready for your next step in your career! Additionally, you can check out the Johnson Search Group job board. We have dozens of opportunities available across the country!