Balancing an Oil Boom with a Labor Shortage, with Craig Smith of DuraCoatings

 

Labor shortages across the nation are starting to cripple many industries. A lack of construction workers makes picking up the pieces after a natural disaster all the more difficult. The agricultural industry is seeing it as well, like in Portland, where greenhouses and nurseries have dealt with a 30 percent drop off of growers with little sign of refilling those positions. Some markets though, despite this labor shortage, are seeing unprecedented growth, and a key example is the boom of oil production in Texas and New Mexico’s Permian Basin.

With this expansion of drilling operations comes growth for supplemental companies in the market, like DuraCoatings, which provides hard coating applications for machinery in the energy, oil and gas sector. Positioned in Oklahoma City, the company has felt the positive effects of this boom, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. “With some of these [other] markets fleeing the United States, it’s been a great opportunity for us to organically grow,” said Craig Smith, VP of Sales and Marketing for DuraCoatings.

Smith joined us on the podcast to break down how the coatings market has adjusted to this production boom, from established companies to small-sized newcomers. More importantly, he gives insight on the difficulty in training and retention of high-skilled workers in the coatings industry, and why this market growth could be the perfect catalyst to educate and excite potential laborers to join the wave. “It’s no secret that we don’t have the trades in high school like we used to, there’s not as many young people coming out seeking the industrial trends,” Smith said. “For all practical purposes it’s very very competitive.”

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