Even labor shortage challenges have their own sustainable solutions. Some sectors—manufacturing or trucking, for instance—which have traditionally relied on a male work force, are working harder to bring women into the industry. Moreover, companies are seeking more diverse candidates and exploring second-chance hiring programs where appropriate. And all of these moves are better for businesses because we know that more diverse work forces build stronger companies.
But diversification of the work force also helps to create stronger communities. At its core, a diverse work force is an investment in all of a region's residents, and that helps to create stronger communities.
Sometimes, automation may be the answer to the labor shortage conundrum and the solutions there are driving more sustainable operations. This year's K Show was proof of that. Machinery makers from around the globe touted products that reduce energy usage, increase output and measure key carbon footprint data sets—all significant factors to building more sustainable industries.
So, as we face head-on some of the biggest industry challenges, let's not forget that our pursuit of more sustainable products, materials and operations are the keys to the solutions we're seeking.