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 Post subject: Finding New Workers
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:41 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Colfax,WI
It seems most nonprofits are struggling to find workers to do the jobs necessary to keep their equipment maintained. At the Colfax Railroad Museum we're working with our local colleges and their intern programs. Many schools require some sort of community service work for graduation and many students are looking for meaningful experience. We've done an inhouse review of work that needs to be performed and built job descriptions for projects that interns can do in a semester and that provide actual work experience.

Project leader positions with working project leaders seems to be popular since the students get a taste for managing time and assets to accomplish something definable. If you're short on workers, this may be an untapped resource in your area.

Herb Sakalaucks
Colfax Railroad Museum

 Post subject: Re: Finding New Workers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:18 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 781
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Old Pueblo Trolley works with the Joint Technical Education Division of the Pima County Schools to provide training to students in the Automotive Shop classes during the summer break. We use a county grant program to pay the students and they do work on our historic motor bus collection and work on the vehicles donated through our tax deductible vehicle donation program. That allows us to get more money out of the vehicles at resale. Occasionally some of the kids stay on as volunteers.

"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."- Conductor Nimrod Bell, 1896

 Post subject: Re: Finding New Workers
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 233
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
When discussing just how volunteer dependent organizations behave towards those who give of their time for them, I really feel that if you look at all of them, then the ratings run from top-notch to abysmal.

Some will continue their poor treatment until the day that they have to close up for good.

Hopefully, the better ones will prosper and continue to lead by example.

Either way, word does get around and influences the addition of new membership.

Just my thoughts.

 Post subject: Re: Finding New Workers
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2146
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
There is a certain 15 year old on another thread looking for better opportunities...

Steven Harrod
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse

 Post subject: Re: Finding New Workers
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:57 am 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
Posts: 159
My experiences with several organizations is this-

It is usually not a recruitment problem, it is a retention problem. Find a mirror, and fix it. Ask your current volunteers and recent additions to do a survey. You'd be amazed how many little things can be done quickly and cheaply, that really make a difference in moral.

I saw a revolving door at the organization I had been with the longest. They never changed a thing, or even questioned that it could be them, they just bemoaned that no one wanted to volunteer anymore. I believe the average age has gotten into the early 50's for its membership. They have run off almost all the young blood. A situation like that will wither on the vine eventually when no one can do the work required to keep everything going. Yet they plow on, with no change in course.

Another that I am currently involved with already does everything I had asked the old one to do, and it so nice. It is a joy to go, instead of an uphill battle to get even the simplest things done. They also have a building to work on their equipment inside, instead of expecting everything to be maintained and painted in the dirt under the open sky. As a mechanic, that gets old fast when you can't do a project for fear of rain and metal gets to several hundred degrees by lunchtime.

Many reasons I have seen-

-no appreciation by the organization for members hard work. You should be thankful we let you on the property!

-too many old heads who squander or squash a new volunteers enthusiasm, suggestions, or knowledge base. The, 'we've always done it this way' syndrome.

-My trains, MINE!

-'ugh, we have a GIRL as a train crew member here?!?' (actually said to me by a middle aged volunteer as my wife conducted a huge yard switching job and I was watching)

As Tom said, the word does get around. The first organization is laughed at by the others in the area, and as such recruitment of railfan volunteers is extremely low.

Adam McDowell
Shaw Air Force Base Rail Operations
Superintendent, Foxville and Northern Railroad

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