On The Money

The May issue of EPM delves into human resources topics, including the magazine's salary survey, biofuels training and linking compensation to employee performance, writes Tom Bryan. There's also a story about the upcoming FEW.
By Tom Bryan | April 15, 2015

Salary isn’t everything, but it’s hard to be happy in your job when you’re earning less than people in similar roles inside or outside your company. Ultimately, job satisfaction isn’t just about what you make—I think we all know that—but it’s definitely related to what you make relative to what’s average for your profession within your industry.  

Every two years Ethanol Producer Magazine conducts an industry salary and job satisfaction survey. We do this to give the men and women who manage and work at ethanol plants perspective on industry compensation trends. This year’s survey was delivered to more than a thousand ethanol plant employees, from CEOs to plant operators, and about one-fourth of them responded. The data was self-reported and collected without random sampling techniques, but strong participation gives weight to the results. Once again, we see an industry full of well-paid, highly educated people who tend to be extremely satisfied with their jobs and loyal to their employers. EPM Senior Editor Susanne Retka Schill, who spearheaded this year’s survey and analyzed its results, reports that 8 out of 10 ethanol plant employees received a raise in 2014, and 9 out of 10 took home a bonus. You’ll find more data like that, much of it brought to life in vibrantly-colored graphics, in the story.

Our personnel theme continues with “Top Of Biofuels Class.” In this story, EPM Managing Editor Holly Jessen reports on the important role that technical colleges and training centers play in providing a steady stream of skilled and upward-bound employees to the ethanol industry. After that, Jessen circles back to topic of compensation in her feature about linking employee pay to individual and company performance goals.

Finally, if you’re not already registered for this year’s International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, I urge you to take a look at the agenda today. With four tracks, 25 panels and more than 100 speakers, there is something for every ethanol industry professional at this summer’s FEW, taking place June 1-4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While large corporations are increasingly prevalent in the modern ethanol industry, technology and service providers of all sizes are still finding major opportunities in the space. In “Small Companies, Big Ideas,” we highlight the offerings of seven business presenting at the industry largest international forum. See you in Minneapolis.

Author: Tom Bryan
President & Editor in Chief