From PepsiCo to Ford, here's a look at the stories we're reading this week:
👷🏻These are the jobs nobody wants
🎡Disney employees pay goes ⬆️
👖Are Tariffs Killing Blue Jeans?
😲PepsiCo CEO Steps Down After Dozen Years
🛏Mattress retailer explores bankruptcy
👗J Crew Doubles Down on Rewards
🇺🇸How America uses its land [Infographic]
🚘Ford workers get bionic vest
👷🏻The Jobs Nobody Wants
Amid the country's booming economy, currently in the midst of its longest-ever streak of job growth, some American industries are having problems finding workers to fill their openings.
Millennials, with higher educations and lured by the desire to work at meaningful companies are increasingly looking for roles that are leaving three industries bleeding talent:
👷🏻Construction has been seeing a labor shortage because young U.S. workers aren't interested in replacing the aging workforce, even though it's a well-paid industry that often doesn’t require a college degree, reports the Wall Street Journal. Also potentially to blame: many businesses aren't willing to put in the time to help young people with on-the-job training.
🚜Farmers in Washington are having experiencing a shortage of workers to bring in their harvests, McClatchy reports. That’s because very few American workers want agricultural jobs — and the federal government's guest worker program is too expensive for growers and useless for some farmers.
🚛Truck drivers are facing a shortage of 51,000 this year, and that's projected to rise to 100,000 by 2021, USA Today reported earlier this year. Baby boomers are retiring from the truck driving business, but millennials have been unwilling to replace them, given the grueling hours and travel associated with the job.
🚨911 dispatchers are in short supply in cities all around the United States. Some factors, per the WSJ: small centers, the lack of resources to train and pay workers, and the unwillingness of many job-seekers to deal with the position's life-or-death consequences.
📖Read More Via: Axios
🎡Disney Employees Pay Goes ⬆️
Disneyland and key unions just agreed to an eye-catching contract for roughly a third of its 30,000-plus workers that will bump pay for the lowest-paid workers by as much as one-third — yes, 30-percent-plus — to $15-an-hour by January. That’s three years before the state’s escalating minimum wage hits that mark.
Organized labor’s high-pressure public relations battle with the theme park operator — no less, the realities of an ultra-tight labor market — convinced Walt Disney Co. to make a bold statement against what’s seemingly been long-running, conventional boardroom thinking: significant pay raises for the worker bee are history.
The added significance of this stunning pay hike in an economic era featuring remarkable corporate penny-pinching is that this involves a closely-watched corporate icon that has been a managerial trendsetter.
📖Read more from Orange County Register
😲PepsiCo CEO Steps Down After Dozen Years
Indra Nooyi is stepping down as chief executive officer of food and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc., handing the reins to a top lieutenant in a transition that will draw attention to the dearth of prominent female CEOs in corporate America.
Bonus: We recently discussed the merits of strong corporate buy-in to customer experience with industry thought leader and expert, Jeanne Bliss. One of the stories she covered in her new book, Would You Do That To Your Mother was how Nooyi would personally write letters to all the parents of her top executives, telling them what a gift they were to her company and how the values they instilled in them helped benefit PepsiCo.
Now, that's another level of commitment. It's also a good reason why she had such high approval from employees there.
🎓Learn more about PepsiCo's succession plan at Bloomberg.
👖Are Tariffs Killing Blue Jeans?
It's the latest gut punch for an industry that had already declined into a shell of what it once was. In the past year, two of the last-standing major denim mills closed, including the biggest: Cone Denim's facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, that many firms say was the last to make high-end denim fabric in the U.S. on a large scale. Increases in California's minimum wage also helped drive several apparel factories in Los Angeles to shutter or move to Mexico, adding to a tumultuous year for an industry that's been just hanging on.
On top of that, free-trade agreements had been pushing blue jean-making overseas for two decades, and now the remaining manufacturers can't believe the irony of getting hit by a return to protectionism. Major brands, like Levi Strauss & Co., had already largely bailed, shifting almost all of their production to Asia or Mexico. What's left is mostly small businesses surviving by pitching craftsmanship and Americana in the premium end of the market with jeans priced at $200 or more.
"It's another blow," said Roy Slaper, who runs jeans-maker Roy Denim in Oakland, California. The tariffs don't make sense economically because U.S. production is such a "microscopic" part of the global market, he said. The U.S. shipped just $31 million worth of jeans to the EU last year, or about 16 percent of the industry's total global exports. "But politically, I can see why. Nothing is more American than jeans."
ℹ️See how the tariffs are impacting American denim at the Chicago Tribune.
🛏Mattress Firm Explores Bankruptcy
Mattress retailer Mattress Firm is exploring bankruptcy, signaling the possible demise of another major U.S. retailer. The country's largest mattress retail store is looking to get out of costly leases and close some of its 3,000 locations, according to Reuters. The firm's South African parent company, which bought the firm for $3.8 billion in 2016, has been working with creditors to restructure the debt of some subsidiaries with its creditors.
📖Read the story at Reuters.
👗J Crew Doubles Down On Rewards
J. Crew lost quite a few loyal fans when it departed from its previously classic approach to fashion — and in some fans' eyes skimped on quality. Those issues have in turn decimated sales.
Now it hopes to stoke loyalties with practical perks like points and shipping, something millennial shoppers in particular respond to, according to research from loyalty marketing firm Kobie emailed to Retail Dive. A great majority (78%) of shoppers value access to discounts and a healthy 28% value convenience, more than any other generation, according to Kobie's report. Card-less programs like J. Crew's new loyalty tier cover that on both counts.
📖Read the scoop from Retail Dive
Heard From Around The Web 💬
🇺🇸How America Uses Its Land
There are many statistical measures that show how productive the U.S. is. Its economy is the largest in the world and grew at a rate of 4.1 percent last quarter, its fastest pace since 2014. The unemployment rate is near the lowest mark in a half century.
What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.
The land usage breaks down as this:
🐄654M acres - Pasture
🌲538.6M acres - Forest
🌽391.5M acres - Crops
🔐168.6M acres - Special Use
🌇96.4M acres - Urban
✨68.9M acres - Miscellaneous
👀the amazingly detailed infographics at Bloomberg.
🚗Ford Employees Get Exoskeleton Suits
Ford Motor Company will unveil its plan Tuesday to use wearable technology to lighten the load on some of its human workers. Exoskeleton vests are being introduced in 15 auto plants in seven countries, and the business of providing technology to augment the human workforce is expected to boom in the coming years.
As CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports, the vest Ford is giving to employees cost around $6,000. But the goal is to reduce injuries, which is both good for workers and the company, which could save money.
🚗Take a spin and read with CBS News.