NPMA’s Workforce Development Program provides a wealth of resources for job seekers and employers
Andrew Richardson was 21 and had just returned from a two-year mission in Brazil when a friend told him about a job opportunity in a field he had never considered—pest control. Fast forward 20 years, and Richardson is the founder and chief executive of Edge Pest Control, an Orem, Utah-based company with 18 locations and 500 employees.
“I stumbled onto the industry 20 years ago,” Richardson said. “I never thought that I would be in the industry, but then I fell in love with it, and I haven’t looked back. I think that for a lot of people, if they actually knew what the industry was, they wouldn’t just stumble onto it, they would actually look for it.”
To spread the word about career opportunities in the pest-control industry, Edge joined the Founders Club, a group of companies pledging financial support to the NPMA Workforce Development Program over the next five years. The program includes the launch of a comprehensive online resource, PestControlJobs.com, which provides prospective employees with detailed information about the industry, descriptions of career opportunities and success stories from pest-control professionals.
For job seekers, the website features job postings, recruitment videos and outreach materials targeting groups such as women, veterans and students. For employers, there’s a host of materials focusing on onboarding, training and retaining workers.
With the economy roaring back from the pandemic-induced recession, the Workforce Development Program aims to help NPMA member companies better compete for talented job seekers. Pest control is among a large number of business sectors—including restaurants, warehouses, hotels, retail stores and construction—struggling to fill vacant positions. Amid this heightened competition for labor, the Workforce Development Program will help the pest-control industry stand out as a viable career choice. for labor, the Workforce Development Program will help the pest-control industry stand out as a viable career choice.
“We’re a growing company that operates as far east as Chicago and as far west as the Portland and Seattle area, so we really need employees across the country,” Richardson said. “I think there needs to be more awareness about the pest-control industry so that people looking for jobs understand that there is the potential for a rewarding career in this industry, which is actually very people-friendly and offers a lot of growth and educational opportunities as well.”
NPMA expects employment in the pest-control industry to grow 7% annually over the next decade, compared with a 5% growth rate for other industries, and for roughly half of all skilled-trade employees to retire in the next 10 to 15 years. Those two factors mean that NPMA member companies may face stiff competition for skilled technicians, both from industry peers and from outsiders such as the construction and HVAC industries.
NPMA member companies are encouraged to post job openings on PestControlJobs.com to help establish the website as the No. 1 place to find jobs in the industry. Pest-control companies in the United States and Canada that are NPMA members receive one free 60-day job listing per year. In addition, companies that provide financial support by joining the Founders Club or Patrons Club receive exclusive access to hiring toolkits, recruitment resources, complimentary job postings and special recognition at NPMA events. To learn more, visit NPMAWorkforce.com.
The goal of the program is to funnel talent into pest management by promoting it as an essential industry with professionals who are experts in their field and take pride in their work, according to Justin McCauley, CEO of McCauley Services and NPMA president-elect. His Benton, Ark.-based company is part of the Founders Club.
The website allows the industry to show that it’s similar to other skilled trades in that it requires professionals to be licensed, trained, insured and masters of their craft, McCauley said.
The Workforce Development Program features consumer public relations, and digital and social media campaigns designed to drive traffic to the jobs board, according to Jamie Ogle, president and CEO of Lloyd Pest Control, a Founders Club member. Ogle said his company, celebrating its 90th year in business, has 10 offices across Southern California and 300 employees, and it’s been difficult to remain adequately staffed.
“It’s so important to find ways to add to our workforce across the country,” Ogle said. “The jobs board is a good way of promoting our industry more. As young people come out of high school and look to get into the workforce, they may consider becoming a plumber, an electrician or a professional tradesman, and we want them to consider pest control in that light as well. If we can get more candidates to be excited about pest control as a career, that would be very positive.
“For our industry to continue to thrive, we need to do whatever we can to increase the pool of available workers who will be interested in working in our trade and making pest control their career. We protect people’s homes, properties and food supply by having quality people working in our industry.”
Richardson said the Workforce Development Program reflects the NPMA’s commitment to serving the needs of the industry.
“I love how proactive NPMA is being in promoting the industry,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is a people business, and in order to take care of people, you need to have good people. So, if there’s going to be a program that’s worth our time, money and effort, it’s going to be the Workforce Development Program, because that’s how you get good people and build your business.”
All NPMA members in the U.S. and Canada can post one complimentary 60-day job listing! Start recruiting today at Careers.PestControlJobs.com.
BY NICK FORTUNA