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WSJ features two Green Industry pros on workforce skills gap

July 11, 2014 -  By

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) featured two Green Industry professionals this week. Chris Noon and Jerry Schill shared the difficulties and solutions they have concerning the workforce skills shortage many business owners are facing.

According to the WSJ article Schill was featured in, 35 percent of 270 services businesses said they had a difficult time finding qualified candidates. Along with that, 43 percent of small business owners said unfilled jobs were hindering their businesses from growth or expansion.

Noon, owner of Noon Turf Care in Marlborough, Mass., was featured on a Spreecast chat with WSJ’s Sarah Needleman and other business professionals.

Noon explains what he and his brother, company co-owner Matt Noon, did to solve the “skills gap” issue in their own company and keep employees happy.

“We’ve infused a new management system that will reward our managers on merit,” Noon said. “Productivity, sales and bonuses and commissions are often distributed through a form of payment or bonus based on hiring new employees.”

Noon said the company is recruiting 365 days a year and is looking to different industries for candidates.

Schill Grounds Management, based in North Ridgeville, Ohio, employs 106 people but still has vacant positions. The lack of managerial personnel forces Schill to turn away clients. If those positions were filled, Schill’s business would increase by 20 percent, he said.

Like Noon, he is starting to look elsewhere.

“We’re now looking for managers with strong operational backgrounds in any industry,” Schill said.

Schill has created a scholarship program for students pursuing careers in horticulture and is currently developing an internship program.

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