Feeling the Squeeze – Joe Suardi on Navigating Today’s Hourly Workforce

Joe Suardi, Director of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning at RK Industries, joins us to discuss workforce challenges and trends in the manufacturing and construction sectors. 

Joe shares his early career journey, including his transition to talent acquisition at RK. He highlights the industry’s current issues, such as the retirement of Baby Boomers and the influx of Millennials and Gen Z, and explains how these changes affect workforce dynamics and skill acquisition. 

Joe also shares RK’s strategies for attracting and retaining talent, emphasizing the importance of flexibility, mentorship, and cultural inclusivity. Tune in to hear Joe’s insights on workforce development and the future of skilled trades. 



Apple | Spotify | YouTube 


3 Quick Takeaways from this Episode 

Generational Shift: The retirement of Baby Boomers and the entry of Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping workforce identities and expectations. 

Skill and Pay Mismatch: Younger workers often experience rapid wage increases without equivalent skills, creating a gap between employer expectations and employee capabilities.  

Inclusivity and Flexibility: Attracting and retaining diverse talent requires a supportive culture, mentorship, and flexible work schedules. 


What We Discuss with Joe 

  • Joe’s career journey to talent acquisition at RK. 
  • Impact of retiring Baby Boomers and entry of younger generations on workforce dynamics. 
  • Strategies for attracting and retaining talent at RK, including apprenticeship programs and mentorship. 
  • Importance of flexibility and cultural inclusivity in the workplace. 
  • Challenges and opportunities in upskilling the workforce. 
  • Efforts to increase the presence of women in skilled trades.  


Connect with Joe and RK Industries 

Joe Suardi | LinkedIn 

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