Metal Center News

JAN 2018

Metal Center services the metal center and toll processor industry.

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the position is clearly defined, and the new hire is taught the basic skills needed for the job. Early on, companies should also work with new hires to create a development plan that gives a clear understanding of where the employee can end up and how they can develop towards other roles within the organization. This will also help reduce turnover and boost employee retention, according to Hindman. "If we're not capturing these individuals on day one with good onboarding, strong development practices and strong career pathway op- portunities, they'll go home," he says, noting that many millennials decide whether they'll stay with a company for the long term by the end of their first day. New hires should then begin a blend- ed training program, which includes on-the-job training for their specific role and evaluation by a dedicated trainer. Hind- man stresses that training shouldn't end once an employee is released to the job. At Worthington, training and development are important parts of the company's culture. Employees receive a combi- nation of online and in-person training, depending on their position, and that continues throughout their tenure with the company. Additionally, every new hire works with management to put together a development plan, which determines what kind of work they will be doing, sets performance goals and plots a course for how they can meet those goals. "You are kind of in control of your destiny," Rohrbacher says of Worthington's employees. "Wher- ever you want to go, whatever you want to do, the company is here to support you." An example of this career- focused training approach is the Worthington Industries Rotation Experience and Development Pro- gram. The two-year program uses rotational assignments and train- ing to help current employees build leadership and functional skills that they can apply in a manufacturing environment. Typical functional rotations include: environmental health and safety, quality, com- mercial, supply chain, transforma- tion and innovation. "Our WIRED Program takes folks who are in our workforce and who are interested in moving up or advancing and gives them a well- rounded view of Worthington," says Rohrbacher. With just under 70 employees, Berlin Metals takes a dif- ferent approach to training, but still emphasizes accountability and growth opportunities. Typically, the company hires gen- eral warehouse workers who may or may not have some man- ufacturing knowledge. Additional training is done in-house. New hires learn the ins and outs of the service center mostly through on-the-job training, eventually earning the opportu- nity to move on to more-skilled positions, such as machine operator. "Every person I have, I want them to be someone who's climbing," Berlin says. "If they want to become an operator, we can train them to do that within six months to a year. After a few years, they can be good, and they can make decent money." For positions that require advanced knowledge of the metals industry, such as sales representative or plant manager, Berlin admits that companies sometimes look for individuals who have earned their wings at a larger service center. "Small- er companies like mine look for people who have had some education elsewhere, and maybe there's no room for them to move up in that organization," he says. Regardless of the company's approach, Hindman says it should, at the very minimum, standardize the training process. "As we have an inexperienced work- force coming in the door, it's impor- tant to structure and standardize that training program, and make sure that those who are delivering the training have the capability to teach people properly." Ultimately, he thinks manufactur- ers can meet current and future work- force challenges by making learning a business directive. Not only will companies be able to bridge the skills gap, they'll also see a positive impact on their bottom lines. From reduc- ing downtime to lowering costs as- sociated with high turnover, it pays to train, Hindman says. "Whatever a company puts into a program like this, 99 percent of the time they can get that return on investment in a very short amount of time." n A machine operator runs the tan- dem mill inside Worthington's Columbus, Ohio, steel facility. (Photo courtesy Worthington) " Every person I have, I want them to be someone who's climbing. " Roy Berlin, Berlin Metals Hiring and Training Metal Center News — January 2018 ❘ 15

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