What industry trends do you have your eye on for 2022?
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2022 Trends For Skilled Labor (Part 2) – Transcript
SPEAKERS: Brett Elliott, Tim Raglin
Tim Raglin 00:08
Hello, welcome to the Skillwork Forum again. I'm Tim joined with my partner Brett, we gather each one of these episodes and talk about trends and issues and concerns and challenges all surrounding the skilled trades. This is actually part two of a two part series where we are looking into our crystal ball about trends that we see emerging that will impact you, your business and skilled tradesmen across all sectors in the coming year. So just by way of recap, last episode, we took a look at the first of eight trends that we're going to emphasize here in this two part series. So of those eight, the first four were the the fact that skilled labor shortages are going to increase. And Brett talked at length about that. No surprise, but it's just going to be accelerated. And actually, several of the topics surrounding the factors that are going to contribute to that. The second one was the baby boomer exodus that actually has been accelerated. Many of us know about that. But it's going to continue to be both a brain and more importantly, an experience drain to your company in the coming year. The third one we covered was workplace flexibility. The need to become very creative in your workplace, to retain and keep those skilled tradesmen that are going to be so crucial to your success. The fourth one was the replacement worker, the concept of replacement workers. And that is a, it's not a new concept, but it's becoming more of reality in your space. So we, if you didn't take a look at that one, we encourage you to go back and take a look at that one before we get into the the next topics today, which will be the four we'll cover today: automation in the workplace. We did a whole podcast on the fourth industrial revolution, we'll talk about how that's going to continue and matter of fact, be accelerated. And then as we currently said, this rising cost and inflation fears inflationary pressures on your business, and specifically on the skilled trades. The fourth, sorry, the third thing we'll cover today is the supply chain backlog that we're currently facing and how that's going to, coupled with growing consumer demand, how that's going to put increasing pressures on the skilled trades. And finally, this infrastructure spending bill that's on our horizon. So with that, Brett, let's talk a little bit and just recap where we where we went with the fourth industrial revolution where we see that going next year.
Brett Elliott 02:40
Yeah, no, for sure. So like Tim said, we did a did a episode on that, while back on the fourth industrial revolution, but I think it's more relevant now, as we look at at trends forward. You know, I get out into quite a few of the facilities of our clients, and I was in a facility earlier this week, actually, and, and the reality of this automation is here. I mean, it is happening, and you know, a lot of things happen, you know it and people will, when the pain point becomes high enough, then people will, will start to spend the money. Automation, this fourth industrial revolution, the only, there was two hold backs, one you had to have the technology that could support it. We now have that now with the cloud and the Internet of things and all these types of systems that allow this. You know, in concept basically in a manufacturing facility for equipment through HMI systems, you know, Wonderware is a very popular one and those kinds of things, to talk to each other. And for maintenance to become more proactive than reactive. You know, we were were for ever, we basically reacted to equipment as it broke down. We're gonna start to see that. But I think the before you looked at it from a standpoint of do I want to spend these, most cases, millions of dollars to put this automation in place because there's a savings involved? Now, I think it's changed and the reason why I think it's even more relevant, and we're gonna see it accelerate, is now it's happening because they can't find the front end workers. And so so they're now they, if you're going to run your plant, I mean, talking to plants all the time. They're saying they are consistently 20% their workforce is is they're 20% short. Well, you can't manage 20%. You can't run your facility at full go at those kind of numbers. So the automation, you know, becomes almost a must. And like I said I was in a facility, I was in one a couple of weeks ago, I was in one. And this is a company, it's a well known, very large company that has the resources to be able to spend the money and their level of automation, I mean, you're talking about high high volume lines running a variety of products. And there is literally an operator, and a couple people on these lines, you know, because it's all robotic, and it's all conveyor systems. And it's all, now the pressure is, which we'll talk about and we can throw it back over to you, is then what does that mean to the skilled trades? Yeah, it's a bone for them.
Tim Raglin 05:39
Yeah. So in solving one issue, it's kind of like the "Oh, put a finger in the, in the hole in the dike over here and another hole pops out here". So the real need was frontline production workers, we can't find enough, then we have to automate our production lines. Great, you know, we've addressed that problem to some degree. The challenge, then is all that equipment, you know, it doesn't run perpetually without issue. Or, you constantly have to adjust, to change, to fix, to maintain, to deploy, and that means, you're still going to require those skilled craftsmen to be able to probably more so than ever, to keep those lines running. So in the past, you just threw more workers at the problem. And that's not the case today. So greater technology drives higher skills, higher wages, and fewer candidates out there. So in solving one problem, which is great, you had to do something, and that's a great way to solve it. But you've, you've introduced another one. And that's kind of where the fourth industrial revolution is a, from a business, you have to embrace it, but it's going to, it's going to bring on other challenges and and this is the kind of I think the point.
Brett Elliott 06:51
No, I think the you know, for, for the, for companies, and for skilled trades, guys or gals, today. And I know, you know, both both groups, watch this podcast. And so, you know, for if you're a if you're currently a mechanic, or you're currently an electromatic, or, you know, you know, in those roles, if you're in those roles, you know, what I'm talking about. And, and so, the opportunity right now to to, to upskill, and to to get yourself trained in PLCs, and and HMI systems and this this broader technology of automation automation. We have more demand right now, in 2021 and I think it'll just continue in 2022. More and more companies coming to us looking for that higher skill level. The it's the like you said, Tim, it's, it's, you create this automation, I had a well known gentleman, I won't use his name today, because I didn't ask him permission. But he was president of, of a very large food company. And a couple years ago, he basically predicted this to me that that companies, he was talking about his specifically, he's now retired. But you know, that we're going to spend millions and millions of dollars because we have to on automation. But if we can't find the automation technicians and the skilled guys to keep this equipment running, well, it's going to be a big problem.
Tim Raglin 08:31
Yeah, and we're seeing it. And so this idea of upskilling that that Brett introduced, I mean, it's, it's different than retraining. And a lot of things traditionally are like, I'm gonna take a, you know, a plumber and train them to be, you know, a solar energy mechanic. That that's not, upskilling is taking somebody who's in like an electrician, and I'm going to take those basic skills that they understand and I want to take them to a higher level. And so that's, that's what upskilling is, and that's for the skilled worker out there, that's an opportunity for you. And you ought to absolutely be looking at every opportunity for that. For the business owner, the person who's out there trying to keep staff up and running. You need to be looking for opportunities to upskill your current employees that have aptitude. That's why a big part of what we do is we we test people for their mechanical aptitude. If you have an aptitude, you gotta be looking at upskilling those people to replace some of those workers we talked about in the previous episode. Give your give your skilled employees the opportunity to get those greater skills. Partner with local trade schools, there's a lot of opportunity to do that. So upskilling is crucial. It's going to be crucial to meeting the demand of this automated world are we living in this electronic ecosystem.
Brett Elliott 09:53
Yeah, there's no doubt about it. As I said, it's, it's, you know, we're at Skillwork, you know, one of the the thing that we're, one of our big initiatives, you know, over the next couple of years is is to certify put certification programs, and we're working with different programs, to where where we're going to, we want to be able to provide that to our guys, because we know the demand for them is going to be off the charts. So you know, we want to be able to provide that resource, we also want to be able to provide that opportunity to skilled workers to be able to get that. You know, it's, it's, it's more than just having the the book knowledge, it's really, you know, they call it you know, cognitive learning is really, if we could teach all of kids to, to be able to learn situationally, and to be able to. In a facility of you're somebody running a manufacturing facility, you know, the people that are in huge demand right now are ones with manufacture experience, high level of automation, and the ability to troubleshoot. Well, that's all situational, cognitive learning. You know, to be able to, I'm in this situation, I mean, you know, in your background, Tim with, with the military, I mean, you guys, everything was, you know, what, what do we do if this and then this, and so.
Tim Raglin 11:10
Yeah, for sure, it is a key thing. So, you know, the idea that you have, you can learn to think that way. And it's going to be crucial to be thinking about what people do you have out there at your, at your company, whether it be construction, manufacturing, whatever it is, that have the skill that have the talent? You should be looking at every opportunity now to invest and upskill, giving them opportunity to upskill. So it's going to be a big deal, we think it's going to be a growing deal. And those companies that are doing it, that are planning for it, that are investing in that, are going to have going to be ahead of the curve. No doubt about it. So just to put a, you know, final exclamation point on this, just as statistic, McKinsey study, talks about, to underpin your comment earlier Brett that this automation could eliminate 73 million US jobs. Those are not the skilled technicians that keep things running. Those are the, you know, the frontline production workers, that's what they're looking to replace. Not because they want to put people out of a job, that they can't find those workers. So if you have people out there working in production line right now, and they have some aptitude they show, you know, they they they have some capability, look for opportunities to upskill them. So rather than let them go.
Brett Elliott 12:29
You got to read that study, just to kind of jump on that a little bit. You can read that, that study a couple of different ways. You know, McKenzie is obviously a well respected, they do tons of this kind of work. In in that one, the 73 million is a little bit scary, to be quite honest, you know, in that, where are those people going to find work? And how Ma'am, can you upskill? And that kind of thing, and obviously we would, we would hope that be the case. But the other piece too, if McKenzie is even a little bit right in their study, and chances are they are, they're pretty bought in that this automation is coming in now. And and so so so so that level of of automation should tell us as companies, we need to get ahead of how we're going to do that. We're seeing it now, we're seeing companies who have done it, and now they're chasing, you know, using companies like us and other resources internally that they have to find the these level of of technicians.
Tim Raglin 13:29
Yeah, so it's a big deal. Fourth Industrial Revolution, a lot of it impacts to you. And it's happening right now. So the next thing this is kind of current more economic, but it's gonna drive a lot of your business in a lot of different ways. So it's no secret that in inflation, rising costs, that's happening right now. I just filled up with my wife last night, I filled up her vehicle. And I was like, wow, I mean, the cost to just fill up your tank, it's it's almost doubled inside of 18 months. It's incredible. And gas and food prices are continuing to go up. So food prices, specifically in the US have been on the rise for six straight months. So I know a lot of people out there, you know, are trying to tell you, you don't, "pay no attention. It's all fine". Well, we know anybody that has to go to a grocery store, fill up your gas, or buy raw materials. Costs are on the rise, US consumer prices hit their largest annual increase since 2008 over the past six months. And typically oil and food category is driving the largest price hikes. So you know, we know this is going on. So what's the obvious? So what to us as costs go up? Right and inflation. You got to pass those on, you got to figure out a strategy for doing that. But how did the specifically impact the skilled trades and your challenges with that? So just to pull the thread on that little bit, just to make sure that we understand cause and effect here. And I don't mean to speak down to people who are economists, but I had to get this clear in my mind. So higher inflation means that the real wages for workers decrease in other words, they have less purchasing power. So higher costs means the $24 an hour guy, I cannot buy as many groceries, bread, fuel as I did a year ago. I can I can buy my money goes not as far. So that's, that's a real impact. So then workers need higher wage to increase their purchasing power. I need to make more to be able to purchase what I purchased a year ago. And most of us expect our you know our quality of life and living to continue to go up. So you take that into account. Plus the fact that my the money I'm making now doesn't go as far, I need a higher wage. Everything that we talked about with the demand for skilled tradesmen, the fact that they are in higher demand, that their that's going to drive their need and their impetus motivation to take another opportunity that's giving them more money. So inflation and costs are going to absolutely exacerbate your skilled trade issue in this way. You're going to have to pay higher wages to keep those people because of this tremendous policies we have in place right now that are driving these economic issues that we're facing. And that's as close to editorializing as I'm going to get. So So what does that mean? You're going to have rising labor costs to keep an employees. In addition to all the other things that are driving your higher labor costs. So what happens? Brett, you ran businesses, your labor costs go up and up and up, I either have to pass them on, or my profits are decreasing, because labor costs are eating away at that. So what do I do? I'm gonna, well do I let workers go? That's traditionally what you do. I've got to shut down some lines, I can't keep up with it. And the consumer demand is going to continue. So you can see where this is going to drive, continuing cost and continuing challenges for the labor market. So,
Brett Elliott 17:18
No, I think you're spot on Tim, and we're gonna kind of this net, the next place could be supply chain, but in this kind of feeds into that. But if you go back and in the, in the part one of this 2022 trend series, a lot of what Tim just referred to in this is, there was two things in the previous one that we talked about. One was the golden age of the skilled trades, which means you're in demand, wages are up, you can get more money, and then this other concept of replacement. So you come you combine all of those things that I need more money to buy the same stuff, my opportunity is out there. And, and guys and gals are willing to move. So so all of this dynamic, you know, you know, you already had it, and then you throw inflation and to where a person is autumn is just going to be more inclined to go somewhere for a couple more bucks an hour or maybe more than top 10. So as as employers, you know, we have to be, you know, you we have to be obviously very conscious of that in our workforce and maintaining our talent as a skilled workers as employees, you know, obviously, you got to do what you got to do. And so,
Tim Raglin 18:38
Yeah, I mean, we always here, we do annually, a lot of companies do. They take a look at, you know, strengths, their weaknesses, things, they need to fix, opportunities and threats. So threats are things that you don't control. They're outside forces. This is a threat. Some of these other things are opportunities. A threat is something that's being basically you have to deal with. It's coming in from external and certainly economic pressures, and particularly policy that's driving the economic pressures, there's, there's no explanation for why we should be heading into inflationary waters with everything else in the economy, other than policy. So it's coming. And it's it's already upon us. So we just want to make sure that you're including that in this potpourri of beautiful things that drive some of your challenges in the coming year. But we thrive on challenges. Every challenge brings an opportunity. Yes, this one will. So Brett, you talked about this idea of inflation, it's going to lead us into challenges and you mentioned supply chain backlog.
Brett Elliott 19:50
You know on top of you know, we're you know, we're coming out of COVID or we have this continuation of COVID, however you want to look at it. Is and that has created a lot of of challenges in the workforce, and you've got facilities that have been running hard now for two years trying to keep up with supply. Labor's down, now you have inflation costs, and all these types of things. And so this the supply chain, idea, you know, kind of post COVID is the demand on these facilities. You know kinda specifically, here talking manufacturing in a minute, here, we're going to talk about infrastructure, which will have more of an impact in the construction space, but in this particular space, you know, in the Nevada, just the demand on these facilities is, is off the charts. And, and so you need, you need to be running more, you need to be running more efficient, you need you need all of these things, you don't just snap your finger and create the automation that we talked about in the fourth industrial. So, you know, I think the, the, the current administration indicated that, you know, it's going to get, you know, worse before it gets better. I don't know if that's very encouraging. But, but it is probably a reality. And, you know, you know, as as you know, we often talk about, you know, you know, self awareness and reality, you know, you know, as business leaders, you know, you've got to really look at what are the challenges and inside of those challenges, what are the opportunities? And so we're seeing it kind of all over.
Tim Raglin 21:32
Yeah, I mean, it's, we're seeing it acutely, in like the offloading of cargo ships. A lot of skilled tradesmen, you know, longshoremen, etc, that do that work. There's a shortage of labor there. And truck drivers. I mean, there's 100,000 right now, 100,000, by some estimates, I've heard eighty I've heard 100, shortage currently in truck drivers. And that number is going just just continue to skyrocket. Actually, because the fact that we talked earlier about the baby boomers, trucking industry is probably one of the most heavily populated by 55 plus. And so and you throw in some of the policies that are being put in place, and the additional burden on truckers and the trucking industry and some of the demands from some of the COVID policies. You could you could see this be, you know, again, we're some of this some of this information seems to be doom and gloom, but we believe that America always shines brightest when things are difficult. So there's going to be a lot of opportunity for innovation and thought leaders to bring us out of this. So we look at these things as being, yeah they're challenges. But as leaders, you know, we don't shy away from challenges and we don't ignore them, we take them on, and we look for them to be opportunity. So there is going to be a lot of impact. We've got some other, you know, quotes here from some industry leaders about what they're seeing people who live in the supply chain world every day.
Brett Elliott 23:08
Yeah, no, it's it's across the board. I mean, you know, whether it's, it's whether it's delivery services, you know, UPS, FedEx, you know, those types of Amazon, obviously, you know, the demand on their, they're there to find drivers to find warehouse workers to the, the demand for what they're doing is, is going up, the labor is a challenge. You know, like you said, I think there will be, we're seeing that there's somewhere in the middle as these things meet, you know, people will create, Americans will create solutions and automation and those kind of things. But I think it is a is a reality, I don't know how we, I don't know, I don't see a solution to where in somewhere in 2022, you find 100,000 truck drivers. And so so there's going to have to be other other solutions to that. And and, and at the same time, we probably are going to deal with some, some pain points along the way.
Tim Raglin 24:11
Well and the consumer demand is at a record high as well. And a lot of that has been fueled by a lot of dollars that have come in to people, unexpected dollars have come in and people with administration trying to help people out. But a lot of money has flowed in and people are spending and here as we record this we're heading into Christmas season. And I'm just going to be interested in seeing how the supply this Christmas season is going to be impacted and what effect that's going to have on other sectors of our economy. But just this just yesterday, Brett, I was sharing with you. I talked to a business owner. His company has been in his family since 1908. They've been operating since 1908. A very successful company that's here in Omaha where we're located. And he said that he's been running the company since early 80s. And before that his father and his grandfather. And he said he has never in his history and he's been running the company since the early 80s. He's never seen a supply chain like this ever. And he said, he's seen already in the last six months, he's seen across all of his suppliers, a 40% increase in his cost of raw materials. He says he usually sees anywhere from three to 4%, a year 40%. And that's all being passed on to his customers. So far, everybody is okay with that, except for one, one of his customers he mentioned. But he shared another example with me of a supply chain issue that there's a colleague he has that needs a an engine for a very specific piece of equipment, crucial to their business, they have to get it repaired or replaced. And the supplier for this engine overseas, said, "No problem, we'll take your order, we'll put you in the queue, we'll have it to you, the estimated delivery time is six years to get that part". I mean, another guy in that conversation shared that, "I was trying to get a gallon of paint that I needed, and I had to be special ordered and had to be had we had to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico to get this gallon of paint, because it just wasn't there". So supply chain again, how does it affect your the skilled trades? Well, it's everything that slows down and increasing demand, slow down raw materials that's going to you know, it's going to put more pressure on you. I mean, it's easy to put two and two together on how it's going to,
Brett Elliott 26:52
Oh yeah, I mean I think, you know, companies it all the more reason why you're going to have to, you're going to have to run more efficiently. To get out, you know, what you need, because, you know, you're just, there's just so many other pressures on the ability to either get the supplies, obviously, it's going to cost are going to be higher these things. Some places it will get absorbed, you know, some places it will get pushed along, you know, to have them but for a lot of these companies, you know, how you're going to maximize, meet your goals, hit your ALP, all those kinds of things, you know, you're going to have to be very, very efficient in what you do, which puts a lot of emphasis on, on how are you run? And you know, how are you keeping things going? You know, and that kind of thing. We talked to companies all the time. And it's a big, big emphasis right now, about run time and efficiencies and those kinds of things. Which really falls back on on those, you know, those skilled trade individuals in the facilities.
Tim Raglin 27:52
Yeah, and you and I came up at a time when just in time, you know, manufacturing processes and construction, everything supply chain just in time. Meaning you don't want to keep a lot of raw material on hand, you don't want to keep it a lot of inventory. Because our supply chain had gotten so fine tuned and we had all this offshore supply, you could literally ask for the raw materials that you need to deliver your product when you needed them. Well, now if you got a lag in that, I mean, this could change the whole paradigm on how you how you plan for and deliver and schedule, you know, those products out there at the other end of the facility. So it's a lot to think about. But that one supply chain is is the seventh thing we see as a big impact. The final one is this infrastructure bill that was recently passed. They call it an infrastructure bill, because there is some spending for infrastructure in there and a lot of other things as well. But there is an infrastructure spending. So the idea that some of the folks that make a living in Washington, you know, they labor under an illusion that they sign a bill and all sudden the spickets going to come on, and there's going to be you know, shovel ready projects ready to roll tomorrow. Well, you and they can, especially in construction space to understand that that doesn't happen like that. And just providing a increase in demand and funds for those projects doesn't mean they're going to happen overnight. So this bill was being touted as generating new opportunities, new jobs, new bridges, airports, that sort of thing, highways. It could generate jobs in construction, transportation, energy, but if there's currently not enough labor to do the projects that you have now, what happens when you get twice the demand for those projects that that come in your front door? You know, so it's it's a good thing, but it's also going to be a challenge to be able to meet the demand of that.
Brett Elliott 29:59
Yeah. I mean it's been a challenge, you know, the, I mean, if you talk to people in the construction space, whether it's like you said roads or, or, or buildings or, or whatever I mean, the labor shortage, for skills in that space has been an issue for for several years. I mean, it's been the number one concern, you know, if you're the leading a, you know, general contracting construction company, or a home building, or whatever the case may be, on what scale um, and that's been their number one issue for several years. And so now, you, you put this in place with the idea that we have this demand to get all this stuff done, but the reality of where you're going to find that talent, to be able to execute those plans to do those things, there's going to be a real challenge. I don't I don't know. Again, it's, it's like everything we're saying, you're going to have to as as as business owners, and and, you know, supervisors of companies and whatnot, you're going to have to really, really think outside the box as to how you're going to attract the talent, how you're going to keep the talent, how you're going to train the talent. But it it hopefully, inside of some of these things, like Tim said, that maybe maybe sound a little, a little Doom ish. Really, in the, in the, from a skilled trade perspective, I think the piece that we're trying to emphasize is that these are realities. These are things that are real. And so it's not a matter of, you know, go sit in the corner and whimper. It's like, what am I going to do as a business owner? What am I going to do? Let the let your competitors sit in the corner and whimper. You know, you got to figure out "how am I going to go how am I going to be successful in this environment?" And the opportunity is going to be off the charts if you can find find the talent.
Tim Raglin 32:01
Yeah, the work is, isn't. It used to be in, the you know, it used to be your challenge "Hey, I got to get more work, I gotta get more projects." Now it's how am I going to be able to, to meet the needs that most people are backed up that are in the construction business. That projects aren't even, you know, from homebuilding all the way to bridges, they're getting pushed to the right, because not only have skilled trades, but with the aforementioned supply chain issue is getting the supplies you need. So here's a story from you know, we're we're home based in Omaha, Nebraska here in the great Midwest, a story from, I think, an MSNBC report. But it was just down the road here from Lincoln. So if I mispronounce this gentleman's name, it's Nicholas Kadavy, or Kadavy K A D A V Y. So Nicholas owns a masonry, Brick Lane Company, right down the road in Lincoln, Nebraska. Third generation mason, who owns this company. So this is currently, before the infrastructure bill. He said his workload tripled since April of this past year. He said his company has already scheduled out work until June of 2022. So he can't even start a new project till July of next year. He wants to hire more skilled masons to finish the project sooner. But he can't find enough people to fill the dozen positions he has open. Even though he's willing to pay quote up to $50 an hour, twice what he offered before the pandemic. From $25 to $50 an hour now, he's not taking that cost is being "Oh, you want some bricklaying at your house? Price was $1,000. Now it's $2,500. So that's getting passed on, that's going to, you know, again, all the other things we talked about. But so he's doing traditional out there traditional hiring, he's putting ads out there, and he's not finding guys, that's where the creative business owner looks for other opportunities, like a company like Skillwork. And we don't do these podcasts to sell what we do, necessarily, but we do say, we're in this with you. And we do have alternative ways that we can help augment your working crews to help get you over this hump or to address some of your challenges or allow you to take this opportunity take advantage of the opportunities that come before you. So getting creative includes non traditional ways of hiring and adding staff, which a company like Skillwork can help you do.
Brett Elliott 34:32
Yep, no doubt. I mean, it's it's more so than ever. I mean, our, our opportunities, like Mr. Kadavy's, you know, have been, have grown a lot as well. And so, and I think it's those companies that are recognizing, you know, we we need all hands on deck. We've got to figure out how to do this. You can't just sit back and and, you know, hoping it goes away is is really not a plan. It's not going away. I think if there's anything that we see in these 2022 trends is from a variety of different things. It's it's the, the pressure to find to find the skilled talent is, is, is, is just going to increase for all of these reasons. And and so I don't think it's much of a stretch for anybody that's watching this to know that this is the reality. And so now it's it's dealing with that reality.
Tim Raglin 35:31
Yeah. So again, we appreciate you taking the time to listen this. As always, you can reach out to us at Skillwork. We'd love to talk to you and maybe we can help you with your problem. Or, you know, we're just happy to, to share any ideas that we can always willing to reach out and collaborate. But just to recap, on these eight trends that we've talked about here over these two episodes, and many of them are interrelated, but but yet they have their own contributing factors and on mitigating steps that you need to take. So skilled labor shortage, that's going to continue to increase. The baby boomer exodus is going to become more acute. The experience and brain drain is a real thing that's going to be accelerated. There's going to be a growing demand for you for workplace flexibility to be creative and provide an environment for taking advantage of a shrinking labor pool. So you're gonna have to get creative and traditional ways of thinking about staffing and managing your your workforce, I think you're going to find that that's going to be non productive going forward. You think about other other things, we talked about this idea of replacement, in addition to attrition and company growth as a huge driver for the need for skilled workers. Automation, the fourth industrial revolution, that's going to continue to grow, your need to be able to bring in higher skilled workers. And we talked about upskilling your employees to be able to fill that gap. Inflation, costs, the costs associated with that for your labor. And you know, that's a real thing we're experiencing right now. Brett talks a lot about the supply chain backlog, the impacts of that, we're seeing it across every facet of our everyday life. And finally, this infrastructure spending and how that's gonna affect primarily construction, but really everything across the board. So those are the eight that we see coming next year. And, again, opportunity really, yeah.
Brett Elliott 37:30
No, they are. I mean, it's, we have to look at it. And so as business leaders, like I said, every, every challenge, you know, we, you know, our company Skillwork exists because we recognized a problem. You know, we recognize the challenge, you know, I learned a long time ago, you know, don't build a business around a problem people don't know they have. And so, you know, if people recognize this is a problem, we need a solution. You know, there may be a business out there may be something you can build off of, and that's what we see.
Tim Raglin 38:04
Absolutely. So I think Benjamin Franklin said, necessity as a motherhood or the mother of invention. Yeah, so we have a lot of necessities pressing against you. So again, we hope this gives you some food for thought as you start doing your planning for 2022. I wish you, know to have a great success in the coming year. It's going to be a tons of opportunity, really it is for those that are willing and able and are forward thinking. It's going to be a great 2022 year, we certainly expect it to be for us. We hope it is for you too. So just want to just pray God's blessings on you and your company. Thank you for joining us today on Skilwork Forum.