Message from the President Nov.2007

a monthly magazine for our employee Nov.2007

My Dad (Mom) Is an Engineer!

On October 1, Meitec, like many other companies, held a ceremony welcoming the students who would join Meitec next April. This year, I was particularly thrilled to find out that there was a participant among the future members of Meitec whose parent was a Meitec engineer. This represents the first parent-child engineer pair in the history of Meitec and perhaps in the history of the entire temporary engineering staffing business. Meitec has achieved a number of “firsts” in the business, including the first among the temporary staffing services to list its shares on the stock exchange, the highest rate paid to outsourcing engineers, and the first to offer extended employment to engineers beyond their official retirement age. I’m excited about the prospect of having a parent-child engineer pair not because Meitec will be able to claim another “first” in the trade. Rather, I’m pleased from the bottom of my heart that there was a child whose parent works for Meitec, who grew up interested in becoming an engineer “just like Dad” and eventually selected Meitec as his employer.

I believe that the Japanese labor market should pay greater respect to professions and put greater emphasis on them, and it’s indeed moving in that direction. In other words, growing importance is placed on your “profession,” separate from “the company you belong to.” When lifetime employment was the norm, the company you belonged to or the company you were working for may have been an important element in your personal life planning. However, given the current reality that no one can guarantee a company will continue forever or at least until you reach your retirement age, people are naturally shifting their attention to their individual vocation. I’m not negating the value of lifetime employment outright. But I believe it’ll be a rarity, as the realization sets in that it can’t be taken for granted from the beginning but is rather an outcome confirmed only in retrospect. In other words, the way a company sustains its growth and its capabilities to offer places and options that make employees want to stay with it longer are crucial corporate values that employees look for in a company.

One element required for Meitec’s sustained growth is its ability to evolve into an ever-stronger group of professional engineers. Because engineers are professionals in their own right, they don’t need fancy titles. Engineers thrive on what they accomplish, not on their titles. For this very reason, Meitec should launch a drive to further boost the values of engineers as a profession. As a start, I want the children of Meitec engineers to be proud of the work their parents perform as engineers. And I believe this will be accomplished first by letting the children of Meitec engineers sense the professional pride in their parents. In this sense, as a member of Meitec, I’m personally very proud of the fact that the child of a Meitec engineer became interested in working “like Dad” as he grew up watching his parent and eventually decided to follow his father’s path by joining Meitec.

Looking ahead, we’ll have to pay more attention to the accelerated decline in Japan of the birthrate accompanied by an increase in the elderly, which is aggravated further by the smaller number of youths interested in the science and engineering fields. We shouldn’t forget that the massive economic development of Japan, despite its scarcity of natural resources, has been driven by the manufacturing sector at the core of the nation’s economy, and this will remain unchanged in the years ahead. But a declining number of human resources to support the manufacturing sector, coupled with further intensification of global competition in the manufacturing sector, could create a major social problem in a decade or two. This awareness has prompted some Meitec engineers to take action as part of the nationwide activities of managers. They began to organize, albeit slowly, community activities aimed at engaging children’s attention regarding science and technology. I see a strong commitment to society that’s ingrained in Meitec engineers. They made me realize that it’s part of our corporate social responsibility to organize and develop such social undertakings initiated for local communities. Any first step toward a major accomplishment always begins by changing the things in one’s own surroundings. To put this into practice, I plan to enhance activities of the Meitec Scholarship Program, which aims to provide support to Meitec engineers’ children who are pursuing scientific and engineering fields. In addition, ongoing efforts will be made to boost Meitec’s corporate values, so that every Meitec Group member will be able to work with more pride and proudly tell their sons and daughters that they’re members of Meitec.

November, 2007