Recruiting, retaining, and onboarding talent for professional field labor and professional office associates are a constant focus for the Starnet membership. Many organizations in the flooring industry work various aspects of the challenge from a national perspective, but the real solutions are only effective locally. 

Kevin Jones of Starnet member Jones-Schlater Flooring LLC in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, has created a talent development relationship with the Career and Technology Education Centers (CTEC) of Licking County, Ohio. The high school Construction Technologies program helps students, parents, and educators learn about career pathways in the construction industry. Part of the curriculum places students with employers locally while they complete their requirements for high school graduation. Kevin shared that six of the current class of students will be joining his team to meet the outstanding demand for work in 2022. The recipe for Kevin’s success, has been spending real time helping recruit kids to the program, contributing to leadership discussions, and helping provide input on what the industry needs from graduating students. 

“Building a relationship with the staff at CTEC, focused on mentoring youth along a career path, has created great synergy for our company and their building trades program. Most importantly, we are creating a compelling Jones-Schlater work environment that enables entry level employees to learn, develop, and be challenged. We work hard to have a culture that is attractive so the students can thrive. We can accelerate their professional success because they become invested in our culture. We want them to help us build something that is bigger, and longer lasting, than any one individual. Investing in these youth and all our employees will maintain that positive momentum well beyond me and my partner Matt Schlater’s tenure as owners. We earn our status with these candidates, and we have found that they become an advocate to other candidates to join our team. It has been a great compliment to our efforts to be a market leading company in our region,” shared Kevin. 

Kevin is a co-chair of the Building Trades Advisory Council at CTEC. He recently attended graduation to present an Outstanding Student Award for the program and celebrate this milestone with his most recent apprentices - now employees.

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