This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

September 30, 1998

The Mountain Comes to Mohammed

With the difficulty finding a supply of good employees, we were not surprised to learn about a company named Anderson Fabrics in Black Duck, Minnesota that makes contract linens, bedspreads, and draperies for the hospitality industry. The owner, Ron Anderson, was approached by the local tribal chairman in Red Lake, named Bobby Whitefeather. Red Lake is a community that is about 35 miles away from Anderson’s main plant.

Following the lead of its chairman, the Tribal Council the tribal government agreed to build an Anderson plant on the reservation next year, immediately creating 30 jobs. And there are plans for more. In return, Anderson will employ their people. Both parties are happy with the arrangement and looking forward to the completion of the plant. Anderson now has a ready source for employees and the folks on the reservation, many of whom have been on public assistance, will soon be gainfully employed near their homes.

It looks like a great match: Anderson has entry-level jobs in search of workers. The Native Americans are searching for entry-level jobs. Of course, Anderson is a little concerned that many of these workers have not held steady jobs, but these difficult times sometimes require greater risk.

As the economy continues to chug along with the attendant labor shortages, look for more companies to relocate "where the workers are." (In another recent trend alert on August 26th, we reported a related trend about companies locating in rural areas. In subsequent trend alerts, we’ll talk about how employers will soon be tapping the grossly under-utilized resource of physically challenged persons.)

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