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Ben & Erin Napier Reveals they Are ‘Really Struggling’ to Find People to Work for Them. Here’s Why

Ben and Erin Napier, renowned for their hit HGTV show “Home Town” and a wide range of creations spanning from exquisite candles to top-selling books, have amassed a devoted and extensive fan base. Yet, sustaining their thriving lifestyle empire has posed a significant challenge due to the difficulties in hiring qualified staff.

During a visit to High Point, North Carolina, where they were launching new additions to their furniture line, the Napiers candidly addressed the pressing issue of the shortage of skilled trade workers impacting their business. Ben Napier disclosed the ongoing struggle to secure a workforce, emphasizing the critical need for skilled individuals to join their team.

In an effort to address this labor shortage, the dynamic couple extended their reach by engaging with a woodworking class at a local high school on October 18, 2023. Their visit was an inspiring call to action, encouraging young students to contemplate pursuing woodworking as a viable and rewarding career path.

Here’s what’s happening:

Ben & Erin Napier Meet With High School Woodworking Class

Ben and Erin Napier, in the midst of their visit to the fall High Point Furniture Market, took the opportunity to connect with students from High Point Central High School who were enrolled in a woodworking class. This special encounter occurred in a temporary outdoor workshop, where Ben showcased his expertise by demonstrating the craftsmanship behind his company’s renowned cutting boards. He mentioned that these cutting boards held a special place in his heart, as they marked the very first items he ever sold as a woodworker.

During this engaging session, Ben sought to establish a meaningful connection with the teenagers, many of whom were not yet familiar with their popular HGTV show, “Home Town.” To bridge the generation gap, Ben shared stories of his own high school days in North Carolina and imparted some valuable insights into the intricacies of his trade.

In an interview with local news outlet FOX8, Ben expressed his appreciation for Guilford County Schools and High Point Central’s initiative in facilitating such interactions. He emphasized the pressing need for more young individuals to explore careers in the skilled trades, remarking, “We need that. We need woodworkers. We need plumbers. We are currently, on our show, you know, we renovate — we’ve done over 100 houses — and we are really struggling to find people to work.”

Kenneth Dean, the dedicated instructor of the woodworking class who arranged for his students to meet Ben, conveyed his ambition of equipping these young minds with valuable skills that they could carry with them beyond high school. He highlighted the importance of offering alternative paths beyond the traditional four-year college route, recognizing that many students have a strong inclination to work with their hands.

Ben expressed his hope that the students who participated in this encounter would consider woodworking as a viable and fulfilling option for their future careers. He emphasized the practical aspect of choosing a profession, stating, “We like to romanticize things and say, ‘Oh, you know, as long as you do what you love’… but at the end of the day, you gotta put bread on the table, and this is a way you can do it.”

Erin, Ben’s equally passionate partner, also addressed the students who attended Ben’s workshop. She commended High Point Central High School for having a woodworking class, acknowledging that woodworking programs have sadly disappeared from the curriculum of many American high schools, which she regarded as a disservice to students. To commemorate the occasion, Ben and Erin took photos with the class, and they even presented Kenneth Dean with one of their popular signs bearing Ben’s favorite phrase, “Measure once, cuss twice.” This heartwarming interaction underscored the Napiers’ commitment to inspiring the next generation of skilled craftsmen and women.

Ben Napier Has Turned His Passion for Woodworking Into His Career

Image of ben and Erin Napier on Osprey event
ben and Erin Napier on Osprey event

Ben has transformed his passion for woodworking into a thriving profession, channeling his expertise into various facets of his career. This journey has taken him from contributing to renovations on their popular TV show, “Home Town,” to crafting and selling pieces in his woodworking shop, which has become a sought-after tourist destination in their charming hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.

In the year 2022, the couple embarked on a new venture by establishing Scottsman Manufacturing, a dedicated facility committed to producing the “highest quality cutting boards and butcher blocks in America.” This strategic move not only advanced their business aspirations but also provided a significant boost to the local economy, generating a remarkable 85 new jobs, as reported by WDAM.

The establishment of the manufacturing plant plays a pivotal role in the ongoing revitalization efforts spearheaded by the Napiers and their college friends who chose to return to their roots in Laurel after completing their education. The company’s website underscores the fusion of cutting-edge machinery with the skilled hands and innovative minds of their team, aligning this synergy to achieve manufacturing perfection.

In August, Ben took to Instagram to offer a glimpse behind the scenes at the plant, personally narrating the video to underscore the importance of supporting American-made, handcrafted goods. In his message, he emphasized the integral role that community building plays in the ethos of Scotsman Manufacturing, recognizing that small towns derive their identity and strength from the products made within them. He reinforced the value of American-made craftsmanship, stating, “At Scotsman Manufacturing, we know that American-made matters.”

Reflecting on his deep-seated commitment to small-town sustainability, Ben shared a poignant childhood memory. He recounted how, during his high school years in Reidsville, North Carolina, his family’s journeys through furniture factory towns on their way to the mountains left an indelible impression on him. Witnessing the impact of shuttered factories and the devastating consequences for local families when major employers disappeared fueled his determination to make a positive difference. It was this determination that led Ben and Erin to center their lives around the mission of uplifting their beloved hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.

As of now, Scottsman Manufacturing has opened entry-level positions at its Mississippi plant, including opportunities for a Machine Operator and a Sander & Finisher. This venture not only represents a testament to their unwavering dedication to their community but also stands as an exemplar of their vision to breathe new life into small towns and bolster the American manufacturing industry.

 

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