As the technology-native Gen-Z comes of working age, flashy Silicon Valley jobs twinkle in their eye. But there’s another industry that is attracting these fresh young minds, and it is working hard to retain and invest in the people that choose to work there.

That industry is manufacturing. Joined by Derek DeGeest, President of DeGeest Steel Works & LestaUSA, “Manufacturing a Stronger Standard” explores how the manufacturing industry has modernized and how it’s taking big steps now to invest in the future.

DeGeest is no stranger to today’s youth, as he frequently leads tours around DeGeest Steel Works. He’s noticed it is not just the modern machinery that gets people excited, they also are interested in how our employees demonstrate autonomy, decision-making and have an active role in what they’re creating.

Today’s workers don’t want to be a robot, a drone or another cog in the wheel. They want to be engaged with the whole facility, understand how their efforts help their team and company, and participating and influencing the product with new ideas and creative thought.

DeGeest agrees. By investing in employees, DeGeest Steel Works creates better careers that attract new people into the industry.

“Anything you’ve ever touched has been manufactured,” DeGeest said, and that hits home for many young workers who grew up purchasing the latest products. In order to be competitive on a global scale and stay that way, manufacturing must continue to improve.

This requires great minds, big ideas and collaboration among new employees and old. For DeGeest Steel Works’ workers, DeGeest said, this holistic collaboration between generations is empowering and a vital tool for doing a better job.