Changing Economy Pushes Guitars Maker Near Bucks County Into Competing for Workers

Image via Martin Guitars.
The guitar manufacturer is located just north of Bucks County.

C.F. Martin & Co. in Nazareth, where workers have been building the iconic Martin guitars by hand for nearly two centuries, has now found itself in an odd position, writes Ben Kesling for The Wall Street Journal.

While applicants sometimes used to wait for years for apprenticeships, the changing economy has now forced the company to compete for workers.

The boom in e-commerce has packed the area with fulfillment centers and warehouses. This has supercharged the region with jobs that do not require high levels of education or training and often offer pay that is higher than an entry-level job at Martin.

Learning to be a maker of stringed instruments – a luthier – starts more like a guild apprenticeship and requires time to get the expertise required for higher-paying positions at the factory.

“Being a luthier definitely has craftsmanship at the core, so finding people who bring the passion for craftsmanship – and the discipline – has become a little bit harder,” said Thomas Ripsam, Martin’s CEO.

The company has now boosted its hourly wage and is hiring and continues to provide profit-sharing, which we believe adds up to a competitive total compensation,” said Ripsam.

Read more about the company in The Wall Street Journal.


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