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Manufacturer: Too Many Applicants Lack Life Skills, Employ Entitlement Attitude

Larry Davis is looking for good help. He’s president of Daman Products Co. Inc., but doesn’t necessarily want to hire people who have experience in manufacturing.

Instead, he says it’s tough to find good people who pay attention to detail, have a strong work ethic and don’t need a boss or manager to act as a babysitter.

“It’s what we all would hope our daughters and sons would come out of high school with,” he said, describing what he deals with when looking for new employees. “This basic understanding of how the world works, how I’m going to be successful in it, they don’t get that. They can’t balance checkbooks.”

Right now, Daman Products employs 115 people. The company designs and manufactures hydraulic valve manifolds … used in industry to move things, to turn, clamp, press and crush, Davis said.

According to Davis, the company has grown 30 percent and is looking to hire 10 people this fall.

Indiana’s most recent unemployment numbers show July unemployment increased to 8.2 percent from 8 percent in June. That’s still below the national rate of 8.3 percent. Employment in St. Joseph County is 9.4 percent and in Elkhart County it’s 9 percent.

The problem?

Davis said he’ll go through 500 applications to find 10 candidates who might work out.

“They have to want to work, they have to want to be part of something that’s bigger than they are,” Davis said. “They need to be able to collaborate, brainstorm (and have) some computer literacy.”


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