As discussed previously in HR Times, the US manufacturing industry faces significant talent challenges that threaten its future (see If you build it, will they come?, Uptick in manufacturing focuses attention on human capital, and Beating the skills shortage). The global chemical industry shares many of these same challenges, in particular: (1) impending retirement of older employees. (2) skills shortages among the generation that will replace retirees, and (3) the general unpopularity of the industry as an employer of choice. These talent challenges are amplified by intense changes in the industry itself, ranging from constrained margins and increasing cyclicality to activist investors and a dramatic decline in new product introductions. From our observations and experience with clients, many in the industry recognize that problems exist, but either aren’t acting with a sense of urgency or are paralyzed by the sheer magnitude of the challenge to take action to address it.