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One company in Colorado is turning the tables on hiring the best people for the job, and so far, it seems to be working. “We’re a small shop we’re about 39 employees,” said energetic CEO Paul Harter. “Per plan, we’re down seven right now.”
Harter needs people and does just about everything to get workers. It shouldn’t be hard, his employees are happy and get support from the company. “It wasn’t where I’m just a faceless automaton at a desk,” said Shawn McPeak. “I’m one of the people here, I’m a teammate, and that was a really great thing that they had and I really liked that that was part of it.”
McPeak is working in customer service and technical support. But how he got there is interesting. Harter’s company is called Aqua Hot. They makes heaters for pricey RVs. The market is great and business is strong. The company has added a gym and volleyball court to retain people. It’s a supportive environment. Harter is positive about his people and loves to lead. But he has a problem with Colorado’s 2.3 percent unemployment rate.
“We have to change the way that we think about talent. We have to change the way that we look at the work we’re asking men and women to do.”
Harter has dovetailed with job training facilities and colleges. He has placed ads and found a few people. But even with all that, he’s still short-staffed. Enter Skillful. It’s a program created under the Markle Foundation, backed by millions in Microsoft money from its philanthropic foundation to help people train for jobs and employers train for finding them.