The Private Pond Industry: What We Desire From Whom We Hire

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 10:40 AM
Fulton (Statehouse Convention Center)
Jeff Slipke , Midwest Lake Management, Inc., Polo, MO
Shawn Banks , Midwest Lake Management, Inc., Polo, MO
The private pond and lake consulting industry has undergone a surge in growth over the past decade as state agencies have reduced or discontinued services for private pond owners.  Accordingly, employment opportunities in the private sector have increased for B.S. and M.S. level fisheries graduates.  Although private sector employers have not encountered a lack of available fisheries graduates from which to interview and hire, the pool of available candidates generally lacks the skill set necessary to perform in the private sector.  Private sector employers seek employees with a broad range of Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) to minimize the cost associated with on-the-job-training.   Graduates seeking employment in the private sector should possess a working knowledge of fisheries and aquatic biology.  But perhaps more importantly, most private sector employers look for individuals with practical proficiencies (e.g., boat operation, trailer-backing, netting skills, fish collection, etc.).  To that end, we have noticed a decline in the number of job applicants who obtained such skills and abilities as part of their undergraduate or graduate education.