Staying relevant in a changing industry

Jim Finn, Akron Dispersions

In previous Rubber World columns, I have discussed the reintroduction of the manufacture of latex gloves back into the U.S. after a 25 year absence. During those years, in Southeast Asia, there have been significant, evolutionary improvements to the equipment, processing, formulations, and the latex itself. The challenge we face is to develop a competitive, sustainable manufacturing capability in the U.S., utilizing some of the personnel who were involved in glove manufacturing years ago, and merging their experience with new ways of thinking and problem solving.

In a sense, we are relying on individuals who have had experience making latex gloves for at least 25 years, and perhaps longer. We are then going to use that experience to teach a new generation of chemists and engineers about glove manufacturing with the intention of generating a more sophisticated, competitive and cost-effective platform for U.S. glove manufacturing.

The question I have is this: What would be the best way to impart a wide range of experiences gained from years of productive work to someone who may not have the same background, come from the same industry, or who might have an entirely different skill set, but is fully capable of understanding, appreciating and collaborating with the more “senior” individual?

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