Categories
Member Manufacturers

Austintown manufacturer promotes trainings for employees to grow

MVMC member manufacturer Xaloy LLC in Austintown is building a stronger culture by improving communication skills of team leaders within the company.

Thinking before talking

 

Jesse Shaffer is a production supervisor covering the second and third shifts at Xaloy.

 

He manages about 30 employees, taking care of timecards and executing plans set by the day shift leadership.

 

He’s been participating in the Leadership Essentials program, a six-part training series to better communicate with employees.

Jesse Shaffer talks during a training session.
Jesse Shaffer, a supervisor with Xaloy LLC in Austintown, shares insight during a training session on how it’s helped him learn to communicate with his team.

“It’s been a lot about communication” and learning about generational habits, he said.

 

For instance, Shaffer has learned to ask open-ended questions to elicit more information as well as provide an opportunity for an employee to share something he didn’t think to ask.

 

The training has also taught Shaffer to assess what he wants to say during a conversation.

 

“I can take a step back and think about how I’m going to say something,” he said. “Sometimes, how I think it is going to come across isn’t going to be the same as how someone will receive it.”

 

He’s also learning how to interact with and guide different generations, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z.

 

Shaffer’s goal in his leadership role is to help his team work cohesively.

 

The training gives him a chance to work on his leadership. “It’s always going to be a work in progress, but it’s very useful” to have this knowledge and awareness, he said.

Investing in the workforce

The leadership essentials program was built especially for Xaloy through the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Kent State University.

 

There’s a certificate for participants after completion, said Trudy Cheney, global human resources director for Xaloy.

 

“This training gives our employees the tools they need to draw on when they run into challenging situations,” she said.

 

Kamal Tiwari, CEO of Xaloy, also “made it very clear” that training of all types is important to him, Cheney said.

 

By investing in employees, they can develop and grow along with the company.

 

Shaffer agreed that Xaloy creates chances for employees to evolve.

 

“I started as an entry-level employee. One of the positions someone can get coming off the streets,” he said, adding he was able to work his way up in several years due to all of the training company offered him. “Being given the opportunity to advance and have career development is refreshing.”

 

Xaloy LLC has been an MVMC member since 2018.

 

Calling on resources through the partnership with MVMC was one of many benefits of joining the coalition, Cheney said.

Categories
Faces of Manufacturing

Work ethic is key for Clark Dietrich employee

In the massive ClarkDietrich facility in Vienna, chances are most employees know and love Gordana Davis.

 

She just celebrated her second year with the company, and has been in manufacturing for 24.

 

“I’ve been working all my life,” Davis said. “I’m all about working and getting the job done.”

ClarkDietrich employee Gordana Davis stands in the Vienna facility.
Gordana Davis has worked with ClarkDietrich for two years, but has been in manufacturing for 24. Her commitment to her career and the industry are from a team-mentality of showing up to work to complete a task.

Born in Bosnia, Davis came to the United States in 1975 when she was 14, not speaking any English.

 

She went to school and learned the language from the foundations of ABCs and sounds.

 

In 1983, Davis got married to an American man. Together, they had three children.

 

Throughout her time building a life in the States, Davis worked as a cashier for 13 years before she headed to manufacturing.

 

Thinking about the start of her manufacturing career, Davis said: “I remember going home the first day, I couldn’t even walk up the steps.”

 

From there, she has learned every role in the company she could, training thousands of people during her time in the manufacturing industry.

 

“Everybody put trust in me.”

 

Davis loves the physical labor that goes along with overseeing her work, keeping schedule to her tasks. “I like the fast-pace” environment of the industry, she said.

 

It wasn’t long before Davis learned every role in the company she could, training thousands of people over the years.

 

Davis has only called off once — one day — in more than two decades.

 

“It’s all about commitment,” she said. “You need to be here to produce the job so we don’t lose manufacturing.”

 

ClarkDietrich is a newer member of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.

Categories
Member Manufacturers

Immersive safety program kicks off at ClarkDietrich

Vienna is home to the largest manufacturer of cold-formed steel in North America.

 

ClarkDietrich, a new member of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, is that manufacturer.

 

It has three locations within 10 minutes of each other, the largest situated on Ridge Road in Vienna Township, with 150 employees.

 

The other two locations are in Warren: Warren East on North River Road with 85 employees and CDH on Phoenix Road with 10 employees.

 

Nationwide, there are 1,500 employees in 14 plants.

 

ClarkDietrich’s Vienna location is also the largest in the company, Tina Parker, senior human resources business partner, said.

 

It is about 350,000 square feet and houses 35 roll forming machines, a machine shop and maintenance team with electricians and machinists who keep the equipment operating.

 

A shipping department organizes all of the logistics of the steel onto trucks, Parker said.

Safety first

When employees walk through the entrance at the Vienna location, they are instantly reminded of best safety practices.

A bright dojo was recently added to the training process.

 

Dojos are designated spaces for immersive learning.

A brightly colored training dojo is set up at ClarkDietrich in Vienna.
As employees enter the entrance at ClarkDietrich in Vienna, they are greeted by a mannequin donning personal protection equipment in a bright hallway designed to help new hires learn safety.

“Our parent company (CWBS-MISA Inc.) wanted us to spearhead this type of interactive safety exhibit to show new hires the right way” to lift and use different machines, Parker said.

Getting to work

Leading the dojo project were plant supervisor Chris Plant and Alex Hertzer, plant superintendent.

 

Hertzer connected various departments for the “very interactive, very bright” learning space, Parker said.

 

The concept, Hertzer said, is “overstimulation” from a safety standpoint. That’s why it’s bright with green floors and bright lighting, and hands-on.

 

“It was a really great effort by the team – supervisors, operators, maintenance. It was fun to see it all come together,” Parker said.

How it works

The dojo gives new employees — some of whom may never have worked in a hands-on, manufacturing discipline — a first glimpse at manufacturing, making the industry less intimidating.

New hires are trained at ClarkDietrich in the training dojo.
Ken VonBergen, safety manager, leads new employees on a tour at ClarkDietrich in Vienna. The group spent some time in the safety dojo – a designated area for immersive learning.

“It shows someone who is maybe a spatial learner rather than a textbook learner,” Hertzer said.

 

A mannequin wearing personal protective equipment greets employees, who then move down the hallway, which is divided into sections.

 

“It’s nice because they’re not practicing on necessarily real machinery” that could be dangerous, Parker said.

 

Miniature cranes and tow motors are part of the experience. Employees also learn the correct way to lift heavy objects.

Miniature items are used to help train new employees at ClarkDietrich in Vienna.
Models of how to properly move about the ClarkDietrich facility in Vienna help new hires, as well as remind current employees, use best practices to prevent injuries.

Another dojo on the way

During pre-shift meetings, many employees will take time to stretch to limber up for the constant bending and stooping they’ll do throughout their day, Parker said.

 

“Stretching before they start their shifts really helps. We really encourage them to participate in the pre-shift meetings, the stretching activities in particular,” Parker said.

 

Next, another dojo is in its infancy stages, but it will focus on another aspect, Hertzer said.

 

An operations/productions dojo will be added to the plant in the near future.

 

It will show how to gauge tooling, and “other simple concepts” that aren’t necessarily second nature to a new employee jumping into the industry, he said.

 

ClarkDietrich is a newer member of MVMC.

Categories
Uncategorized

Workshop offered to new and experienced trainers

Do you have employees who help train new hires?

 

Or maybe you have some individuals who would shine in an on-the-job training role?

 

A new course has been developed that will help sharpen the communication skills needed to instruct trainees.

 

The NIMS® Mentor Workshop is a six-session, six-week virtual program that results with an On-The-Job Trainer certification. Seasoned mentors are also encouraged to take part as a refresher course.

 

The workshop combines online learning modules, virtual group coaching sessions and on-the-job practice.

 

Starting the week of Sept. 27, the next round of the workshop will be offered.

Learning curve

 

During a recent pilot run, Rebecca Peddicord, training coordinator with Pennex Aluminum Company, said she took away a lot of useful information.

 

I definitely learned a lot from this program, including the correct steps on how to train someone,” Peddicord said.

 

Learning wasn’t limited to training.

 

Peddicord said she learned about her style of communication, “such as how others may perceive me and how I communicate,” she said.

 

Workers from different companies were involved in the course, which was once a week through Zoom.

 

Together, participants discussed their strengths and areas they struggle, “which helped us relate to one another,” Peddicord said.

 

Sign up now

 

Everyone going through the program will build and improve their guiding skills through three areas: a methodology for structuring training; communication best practices; and a coaching continuum to help learners advance their mentoring skills.

 

Cost of the workshop is $1,495 per participant. There is a discount available for MVMC members.

 

For more information, contact Sue Watson at 330-307-3399 or sue@mahoningvalleymfg.com.

 

NIMS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing industry-developed and validated standards to help organizations increase performance of the manufacturing workforce.