Outside the Box Newsletter

Oberg and Associates, LLC

              Hard Results

*Below is the most recent Volume of our Outside the Box E-Newsletter. If you are interested in reading more, be sure to reach out to Director of Operations, Kalman Kreitman, and he can get you signed up.*

Volume 50: September 13, 2017

Intro to CorrExpo's Talent Crisis Discussion
By: Roy Oberg

This is the 50th Volume of our Outside the Box E-Newsletter. 

I’ll be honest, I thought we’d have run out of things to talk about, or you guys would have told me to shut up
by now. But, we keep on plugging away.

So, I want to briefly say thank you to everyone that reads our newsletter every three weeks.

It has led to some exciting things at Oberg and Associates, and I’m always flattered when I get a call, or an email, in response to one of these newsletters. Sometimes, the calls or emails agree with what I’ve said and ask questions, sometimes, they’re just well wishes, and sometimes, the person vehemently disagrees with me and wants to tell me how dumb I am. I even get the occasional message making fun of the bad lighting in the picture of myself that is often included. I welcome all of this dialogue, and enjoy the interaction with the industry.

The most exciting, recent response to this newsletter is that I have been asked to speak at the upcoming CorrExpo in Providence, RI.

I will be speaking next to a very bright professor from Clemson University, Nona Woolbright, about the staffing challenges the industry has faced, currently faces, and will face in the years to come.


The world is changing, and as painful as it might be, the corrugated industry is going to have to change with it if it wants to grow.
You used to be able to make a living wage on the floor of a plant right out of high school. Enough that, if you were smart, you could get married, buy a house, and have a few critters without going bankrupt.

If you wanted to move up, there were generally opportunities for you to do so. And you wanted to do it at your current company, because you took pride in the company you worked for.

You invested in it, and the companies invested right back into the people.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the world isn’t like that anymore.

These days, companies expect more experience, but don’t increase the compensation to match it. And on top of that, massive inflation as occurred, meaning it’s much more difficult to afford the “American Dream” of a family with a couple kids, and a house with a white picket fence.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about the explosion of options that exist now. If you’re a young professional entering the workforce, why would you go work in a hot, smelly box plant where you’re going to be yelled at every day, when you can go work in a nice, air-conditioned office and be home in time to catch the 6 o’clock Sportscenter?

It has nothing to do with millennials being lazy or not wanting to put an honest day’s work, there are just better options out there!

So how do we make working in a box plant more attractive for the next generation of the workforce? What a good topic for a TAPPI conversation! Come see us as we discuss the “Talent Crisis in the Corrugated Industry” on Wednesday morning, October 18th at CorrExpo in Rhode Island!