James ‘Pepper’ Rutland: How MMR tackled its workforce challenge

Pepper Rutland MMR
Pepper Rutland, president and CEO, MMR

As work in the industrial construction industry has increased in recent years, the demand for qualified craftspersons is at a premium.

As a result, an industrywide epidemic of manpower shortages is making it difficult for companies like MMR to find qualified craftspeople—especially as older craftspersons retire and leave their positions vacant, says MMR President and CEO James “Pepper” Rutland.

“Young people are not entering the trade industry, and this can be widely attributed to the lack of encouragement to obtain a vocation and the idea that successful employment is hinged upon a college degree,” Rutland says. “We are seeing what we think is a continued problem with the workforce here. Louisiana is both blessed with a lot of natural resources, but also cursed with the fact that we don’t have enough qualified craftspeople to do all of the projects proposed.”

MMR implemented a proactive solution to workforce development that has been so successful, the company is duplicating it at facilities in Texas and other branch offices. It has allowed MMR to redefine the industry standard of a qualified craftsperson and supervisor, and increase employee retention.

Read about the MMR’s solution in the most recent edition of 10/12 Industry Report.