It was last year at the National Industrial Fastener and Mill Expo in Las Vegas where I attended an event for the Women in the Fastener Industry (WIFI) that formally ignited the development of Young Fastener Professionals. As I sat and listened to an educated discussion driven by powerful women in the fastener industry I thought to myself, “Why isn’t there something like this for people like me?” A platform where young professionals who may have just graduated college, recently joined the industry or just have great ideas to share with the entire industry to voice their concepts and designs. After the event concluded I shared my impulsive vision with some colleagues and friends and they too were intrigued by the suggestion.
We need to understand that it’s not just our industry that is changing, but the business climate in all industries are vastly changing mostly due to technological advances. In order to outlast the competition, businesses must be willing to adapt to remain relative. By the year 2025, Generation Y will account for more than 75% of the United States’ workforce. Generally speaking, this generation is known to be well-educated, tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, and very idealistic where it seems only natural to give them a stage to express their ideas with everyone within our industry.
I know what some of you are thinking: “I have been doing this longer than these individuals have been alive. What could they possibly teach me that I don’t already know?” I get it. And maybe the theories and models members of this organization will share won’t resonate with you. But think about it like this. Some people only use landlines. Some use pagers. Some use “flip” cellphones. Some use smart phones, like Iphones. Although all of these are used for communication and maybe some suit others needs more appropriately, they all accomplish the same thing. However, we need to realize that the person who invented the landline did not invent the Iphone. Through advancement someone new came along and made an existing concept more efficient; effective. That’s what I hope to do with the Young Fastener Professionals: Introduce new notions and philosophies and attempt to improve traditional practices where opportunities present themselves.
We are relying heavy on the fastener community to enable this association to thrive. Without the support of the industry, there will be no (or only a small) stage to share experiences, new ideas and theories. I encourage all of you to contact us if you want to learn more or would like to contribute.
About the Author:
Ryan Kertis has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Finance from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. He has held a position in Inside Sales at Porteous Fastener Co. and later Branch Manager at Porteous Fastener Co. He currently works at Stelfast, Inc. as Pricing Manager in their Edison, NJ office. He is the Founder/Chairman of Young Fastener Professionals.