The rising employment numbers in the U.S. presents a new set of challenges for many in the manufactured housing industry.
The Trump Administration’s policies – while often controversial – have resulted in falling unemployment, fewer on food stamps, and wages that are beginning to rise.
Decades of U.S. Immigration policies – largely inaction by both major parties – on the southern border resulted in a series of consequences, some of which led to legal and social challenges which were stressful – if not harmful – to thousands of communities.
Among the challenges is the presence of an estimated 11 to 20 plus million people who entered the U.S. illegally, and are thus undocumented, most of whom strive to live in peace.
But laws already on the books make it illegal to hire the undocumented. As ICE raids last year in several southern HUD Code factories reminded the manufactured housing industry, hiring ‘illegal’ or ‘undocumented’ workers carriers risks for both sides of that equation.
Meanwhile, among those citizens born and growing up in the U.S., several issues have arisen as a result of decades of social, political, educational, and economic policies.
Trade schools and apprentice programs have taken a type of social back seat to college educations in fields that may not easily translate for those working in the manufactured housing industry.
Addiction and Hiring
The problem of drug addiction and other substance abuses yields another challenge for those in MHVille who are hiring. Industry sources tell MHProNews anecdotally that some 30 percent of applicants may be involved in some kind of substance abuse. Others say that those with a spotty work record are often proven not to be a good fit for a company’s needs.
There are an estimated 6.3 million open jobs in America. Thousands of those are in construction, office work, maintenance, sales, and other fields that have direct ties to the manufactured housing industry.
Some state manufactured housing associations have done outreaches to prisons for workers. That’s an effort in progress, that some have hope for filling certain needed skills.
The growing trend of a tight labor market impacts workers and employers alike. Workers are often given added stress, because an employer is unable to fill one or more open positions.
The MH Industry’s image is also an image for certain kinds of career positions, industry sources tell MHProNews.
This is part one of a planned periodic series on an issue that impacts companies of all sizes in manufactured housing.
Comments, on and off the record, from industry employers and others on the issue of labor, job and career recruiting are invited. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
(Third party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.