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Gordon Lumber Company

Gordon Lumber Company


150 Years of Success: The Secret to Employee Retention at Gordon Lumber Holdings Company
FREMONT, OHIO – During the past 150 years, hundreds of people have worked at Gordon Lumber Holdings Company. From the early sawmill men in the 1800s to the skilled people employed by the company today, many have made lifelong careers with the company.
According to Erin Leonard, President of Gordon Lumber Holdings Company, turnover is low at the company’s lumber yards. Thanks toerin genoa1 training and advancement programs, most employees stay at the company for decades.
“The back bone of our company is key people in key positions who got there by starting at the bottom and learning on the way up,” says Leonard. “We try to ensure that every employee has the same opportunity available to advance his or her career.”

Dedication to Training
To assure that staffing retention stays a key focus at the company’s six home center/lumberyards, component manufacturing facility and contract/installed sales business, Gordon offers a comprehensive Assistant Manager Training Program and has plans to roll out a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training program. The company also offers tuition reimbursement to employees using outside sources to help them earn their CDL B or CDL A driver’s license. Additionally, the company has historically offered training opportunities to designers in its components business.
tate dan genoa“There are many situations in our company where people started with part time work in the yard, learned from good managers and eventually earn a management position,” says Leonard. “That’s a good history, but we want the future to be better.
“We plan to expand our training into every job class within the next few years. The goal is to have a full line of training, from the simplest job in a yard to a full-fledged store manager.
“We are trying to ensure that all employees have the same opportunity available to them to advance their careers. We make employee retention a daily priority at Gordon.”
Advice to Today’s Workforce

The largest concern Leonard harbors regarding the workforce is the loss of a generation during the recession in 2007 to 2012.
“In our industry there is a bubble of baby boomers who are starting to retire without much in the way of trained employees behind them to take over when they leave,” says Leonard. “Wrongly, our industry will never be seen as the sexiest industry to build a career. That stigma has kept younger people out of our workforce.
“The reality is this industry has arguably the most upward career mobility available of any industry. There are not many industries lefterin genoa2 where you can start in the yard or on the counter and make your way to the top.”
According to Leonard, the need for outside sales staff and managers is going to accelerate in the next few years, along with counter sales people, yard staff, drivers and clerks.
“My advice to young people looking to join Gordon or any of our competitors is that they’re only limited by their personal effort,” says Leonard. “The sky is the limit if people have curiosity and motivation. The jobs are here. The training is here. The compensation is here. Younger people should get in this industry, stay motivated and watch their career take off!”
Gordon Lumber Holdings Company currently operates six home center/lumberyards, a contract/installed sales business and a components manufacturing facility in Ohio. Locations include Bellevue, Bowling Green, Findlay, Fremont, Genoa, Huron and Port Clinton. The corporate offices are in Fremont. For information, visit www.gordonlumber.com.

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