There's always a lot of talk about the need to attract younger talent into the rubber industry. That is a definite need, to make sure the necessary technical, sales and management talent is on board to lead this industry into the next generation.
But that's not to say there isn't already a good wealth of younger people already making their mark on the rubber industry. While it's true there remains a disproportionate share of veterans holding fort in our business, there is a growing contingent of younger people in all sectors of the rubber. They are learning the ropes in all areas, be it on the business side, manufacturing, or research and development.
All you have to do is look for various signs at industry gatherings. Earlier this month I was at the annual convention of NAHAD, the association for distributors and manufacturers related to the hose industry. One of the well-attended events at the meeting was a luncheon hosted for the group's Emerging Leaders Program, which is an evolution of NAHAD's Young Professionals Group.
As part of the program, several industry veterans gave short talks giving tips on how to succeed as their careers move forward. The Emerging Leaders initiative is being spearheaded by Lindsey Gallik, a regional sales manager for Holmbury Inc., a maker of hydraulic couplings and valves.
This is a roundabout way of saying we here at Rubber & Plastics News would like to do our part to recognize the youth of the rubber industry. To that end, our July 24 issue will have an "Under 40" special section profiling the up-and-comers in the business.
But to do this, we need your help. If you would like to nominate someone for the honor you can do so online or by contacting News Editor Chris Sweeney at [email protected]. Give him the name or names of the people you would like considered; why you think they are deserving; and contact information for the nominee so we can have them fill out a short survey.
Nominees can come from all areas and positions in the rubber industry. From manufacturers to suppliers, from distribution firms to associations.
The deadline for submissions is May 31. Also, feel free to nominate yourself if you like. I know I would if I qualified.