Case Study: Capturing the Knowledge of Aging Workforce

Paul Dufresne, CLS, CMRP, CMRT, CPMM, President and CEO, Reliability Playbook


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that by 2016 one-third of the U.S. labor force will be in the 50-plus age category, compared with 27% in 2007. The percentage of retired Baby Boomers has nearly doubled since 2010, when the U.S. Census Bureau found that 10% of Baby Boomers were retired. Each industry will be affected by this shift in different ways, driven by current demographics, education trends and industry growth.
This case-study will discuss the steps taken by one facility to address this issue. We will discuss the steps taken and the process used to capture this knowledge and apply it back to the day-to-day operations to train the next generation.


Paul Dufresne has been president and CEO of Reliability Playbook since 2017, following 28 years of experience in maintenance and reliability roles in the U.S. Military and at Georgia Pacific, Trico Corporation and Koch Industries. As an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army, Paul served six years of active duty and four years of National Guard duty. After completing his college education, Paul received his commission and served an additional four years of active duty as an officer in the Army’s Armor Branch. He spent the next several years in the corporate world helping design and implement predictive maintenance programs and serving in a variety of roles in training, maintenance management and reliability leadership. In 2013, he received the Senior VP Award for Reliability from GP.

Incorporating knowledge from his military and business careers, Paul uses a hands-on approach to help customers across the country and internationally develop and implement world class maintenance and reliability programs. Paul has experienced successful results throughout his career, including:

• Achieving and maintaining maintenance readiness of over 95 percent in his battalion while serving as maintenance officer.
• Rebuilding the lubrication and predictive maintenance program at a Georgia Pacific mill, achieving world class reliability standards and increasing uptime by 5 percent annually across all five paper machines within 18 months of starting.
• Writing GP’s lubrication standards in 2010 that are still in corporate-wide use today.
• Breaking every production record in the history of the business during his three years as corporate reliability and engineering manager in GP’s oriented strand board business.
• Creating and strengthening maintenance and reliability programs – achieving world class results – at Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry from biopharmaceutical
plants to steel mills, refineries to paper mills, etc.
• Rebuilding a team and instituting process improvements at a corporate facility that led to a $60 million improvement in production.

Paul serves as chairman of the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Best Practices Committee. He is a member of the Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers and the Industry Council for Machinery Lubrication. He holds credentials through STLE as Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS); through SMRP as Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) and Technician (CMRT); through the Association for Facilities Engineering as Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM); and through the Association of Asset Management Professionals as Certified Reliability Leader (CRL). Paul is certified in predictive maintenance technologies such as vibration analysis and thermography. He has written several articles and technical white papers and is a frequent presenter at industry conferences.

Paul is a Distinguished Military Graduate and has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in military science from the University of Central Florida. He and his wife, April, have four children.