Industrial Careers Pathway


Recent ICP News:

Don't let Millennials get you down
ICP reaches young people through facility tours. Click for more.
Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce
Talkin' bout my generation
ICP Resource Guide
ICP-commissioned market research
About Industrial Careers Pathway

Don't let Millennials get you down

We know that managing members of an entirely new generation can be scary, stressful and confusing, but maybe, just maybe, it can be exciting and beneficial too! We found some encouragement in a recent article by Sean Bisceglia. Learn how adapting to some Millennial behaviors instead of solely focusing on getting them to adapt to your ways, may pay off. Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn about technology from them: they live and breathe it.
  • Keep things like emails and presentations short.
  •  Embrace their need to network and socialize both online and in person.

Action Step:
Refresh your current policies and procedures by making them Millennial friendly.

 Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce

The future is upon us. Millennial employees now outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce. And, those numbers will only increase with the passage of time as Baby Boomers continue to retire at a rate of four million per year. For industrial distributors, that means a massive shift in the ages and outlooks of their employees as well as their customers. So how does the industrial distribution industry navigate this change?

Industrial Careers Pathway® (ICP) is providing visibility for the industry as a whole to “right fit” potential industrial distribution employees and bringing tools to industrial distributors to help with recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, management and retaining of Millennial workers. “It is clear that Millennials have a different mind-set about work than previous generations,” said Mary Jawgiel, ICP program director. “We are working to help industrial distributors adjust to this Millennial mind-set as the dominant generation in the workforce shifts from Baby Boomer to Millennial.”

To help bring more Millennials to the industrial distribution workforce, ICP has organized a volunteer cadre of “Ambassadors” made up of current and recently-retired industrial distribution professionals drawn from associations who partner with the organization. ICP Ambassadors spend time at technical competitions, career fairs, school events and host tours of their facilities, all in an effort to represent the career field to potential employees. In the last few months, ICP has had visibility at multiple events around the U.S. and Canada, including the annual meeting of the Association for Career and Technical Education(ACTE) and several SkillsUSA competitions.

Rich Morrison, an employee of Triumph Tool, Ltd., got involved with ICP through his company’s affiliation with ICP partner Industrial Supply Association Education Foundation. Morrison attended a career fair at George Brown College, Ontario, Canada, where he actually met and hired a new employee. “It was quite an experience,” said Morrison, “We not only gathered a number of excellent resumes from young people with a strong grasp of the STEM fields, but also met someone with whom we eventually extended an offer of employment. We couldn’t be happier with ICP’s assistance on all fronts.”

Tom Tesoro, vice president of sales and marketing for Jason Industrial Inc., A Megadyne Group Co., attended a career fair on behalf of ICP at the Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades in Media, Pa. Tesoro said, “ICP’s coordination for volunteers to be visible at these events is extraordinary. It makes participating in a career fair or other event so seamless and easy. Anyone could do it.”

Like Tesoro, Ron Herem, Baldwin Supply Co., got involved with ICP through the PTDA Foundation. Herem and fellow ICP Ambassador Jay Adams, Hose/Conveyors, Inc., member of NAHAD-The Association for Hose & Accessories Distribution, another ICP partner, attended a career fair at Burnsville High School in Burnsville, Minn. The event featured an Internet live stream where Herem and Adams were interviewed about the positive aspects of a career in industrial distribution.

In addition to coordinating these types of events, ICP develops and delivers useful programs, services and training tools to help industrial distributors better recruit, on-board, hire, manage, train and retain Millennial employees. An example is the training program, Elements of Industrial Distribution, which is available at a discount for companies with membership in ICP partner associations. ICP also publishes a free monthly eBlast, the ICP Talent Tipsheet, which offers vetted information, ideas and action steps employers can take to keep their relationships with Millennial workers on the positive side.

ICP also offers the only online job board that is solely focused on industrial distribution. Employers can post job openings for a fraction of the cost of mainstream job boards and those seeking jobs can post their resumes for free. Coming later this year from ICP is an online internship directory to help bring together companies offering internships and people seeking to gain experience through internships.

Talking 'bout my generation
"Millennials feel this way..." "Millennials think this way..." "Millennials want..."

Do you hear these statements often? I myself am a Millennial in the workforce and I am here to [hopefully] shed some light on some of these common questions and assumptions about my generation.

To read the rest of this article, written by ICP marketing assistant Amber Siple, click here.

 ICP Resource Guide Now available

December 8, 2014—ISA members now have access to a useful ICP Resource Guide developed by Industrial Careers Pathway. It's a handy reference guide to the various resources available to ISA member companies for help in recruiting, retaining and motivating millennial workers.

The ICP Resource guide includes links, and where applicable, discounted pricing to:

  • ICP Job Board
  • ICP Talent Tipsheet
  • ICP How-To-Guide: Career Fair Participation
  • Elements of Industrial Distribution

Click here or click the link below to download the ICP Resource Guide.

ICP-Commissioned Market Research Shows Positive Attitudes
but Low Awareness of Industrial Distribution among Millennials

Chicago, Ill.—October 20, 2014—Through new market research commissioned by Industrial Careers Pathway® (ICP), we now have benchmarks relating to the attitudes of Millennials toward careers in industrial distribution. As the Millennial generation expands their ranks in the workforce, understanding their attitudes is a vital aspect of the work of ICP in helping meet the need for a skilled industrial distribution workforce for today and tomorrow.

With a focus on Millennials who would be likely candidates for entry-level positions, survey respondents were not planning on attending a four-year college. Additionally, respondents were chosen who self-selected at least four of the following six key characteristics: like knowing how things were made, want a hands-on career, consider themselves problem-solvers, like working with people, like math and numbers, and they like working on cars/machines. Researchers, using a statistically representative model of the targeted population, surveyed 533 respondents from North America between the ages of 16 and 24.

Respondents were initially asked if they had ever heard of a job field called industrial distribution. Only 15 percent of respondents said they had previously heard of industrial distribution.  Terry Knight, ICP Steering Committee Chair commented, “We’ve always known that industrial distribution is a best kept secret.  Now we know for sure that there are very few young people who know all that our diverse field has to offer.”

All respondents were then asked to read two short paragraphs describing industrial distribution.  After reading the descriptions, all respondents were asked how appealing the field of industrial distribution was to them. Sixty-one percent marked either “very” or “somewhat appealing.” Some comments from responders include: “I love to work hands on, and working in a field where I can learn and advance will be a great environment for me.” “The position for distributing and selling parts and services in this area spans and covers things on a national level. This being such a large and important part of the economy, there would be many opportunities as well as need for smart, driven individuals.”

ICP’s NAHAD member representative, Curtis Sprague, Branham Corporation-Mt. Empire Rubber Co., states, “It’s encouraging to see the majority of our sample expressing positive attitudes toward the profession, once they understand what we do.”  Jay Wilson, ASA member representative from Plumbing Distributors, Inc., adds, “ICP is working to raise awareness of the industry to benefit employers.  With the enhanced marketing and communication efforts ICP will execute in 2015, we can expect industry awareness among our target group to increase.”

Using these numbers as a baseline, ICP will conduct a follow-up survey in 2017 to see how many more young people will then be aware of the incredibly rewarding field of industrial distribution.

ICP is a multifaceted North American workforce initiative supported by an alliance of industry associations ICP links students and job seekers to career paths in industrial distribution and manufacturing through partnerships with local educators and employers. For more information, visit  contact ICP at or +1.312.516.2100. Follow ICP on Twitter at @IDCareersOrg.


About Industrial Careers Pathway (ICP):

The Industrial Careers Pathway (ICP) links students to career paths in industrial distribution through partnerships with local educators and employers.

The ICP benefits:

  • Students, by providing a pathway to a career with good wages, benefits and a career progression.
  • Community colleges, by developing courses and programs that meet local employer needs.
  • Distributors and manufacturers, by providing a pipeline of qualified entry-level candidates and quality training for current employees.

Check out this video to learn more about the industrial distribution industry and the exciting careers available in the industry. 

To post this video on your website, you can link to the video on YouTube at the following link: 

Industrial Careers Pathway Web site: features facts and information about the industry, faces and voices of industrial distribution, and connects young adults with employers and career development opportunities.

Visitors to the ICP Web site can choose from three main portals of entry: Discover Industrial Distribution, Launch Your Career and Get an Edge on the Competition. Highlights include:

  • An employer database—searchable by company name, commodity line and location—to connect job seekers with employers.

  • Video testimonials that offer profiles and personal stories about the benefits of working in industrial distribution.

  • Facts and figures that demonstrate the scope of industrial distribution, career paths and salary information.

  • Training resources offered by industry associations.

  • A listing of four-year and two-year college programs and suggested coursework.

Many of the resources on the ICP Web site have been provided by the initiative’s six Alliance Partners. In addition to providing online and traditional training programs to help young adults gain the necessary business and technical skills, they also have the option of adding member companies to the employer database.

In addition to content geared towards young adults, the ICP Web site offers information about the initiative and employer resources. Visit to learn more.


ICP Support:

ICP is supported by associations and organizations committed to the advancement of industrial distribution including six Alliance Partner organizations (ASA Education Foundation, Bearing Specialist Association, ISA Education Foundation, International Association of Plastics Distribution, National Fluid Power Association and the Power Transmission Distributors Association) and four Alliance Supporters (The FPDA Motion + Control Network, HALO/HARDI, NAHAD and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors). In addition, more than 100 distributors and manufacturers across North America provide financial support and volunteer leadership.

The Industrial Careers Pathway is a multifaceted North American workforce initiative that addresses the need for a skilled industrial distribution and manufacturing sales and customer service workforce today and tomorrow. ICP links students and job seekers to career paths in industrial distribution and manufacturing through partnerships with local educators and employers.


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