(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Kerr, corporate secretary, Kerr Lakeside)
Kerr Lakeside Inc., 26841 Tungsten Blvd., Euclid Ohio, was started in 1945 by Charles L. Kerr. He then organized Krafline Industries for the manufacture of a special military fastener. Once World War II ended, the company discontinued operations until 1947, when the company was renamed C.L. Kerr Industries. It regularly bought and sold products from another Cleveland company, Lakeside Machine Products Company, which led to a merger in 1958. The new company was named Kerr Lakeside Industries.
Expansion continued for Kerr Lakeside in the 1950s and 1960s as the company made additions to its facilities on St. Clair Avenue numerous times. In 1965, Kerr Lakeside moved to its present location on Tungsten Boulevard in Euclid Ohio. Kerr Lakeside continued to make expansion to this facility and invested in two buildings next door through the end of the century, as equipment was purchased and space to hold inventory was necessary. The business has remained a family-run business since the beginning, now in its third generation of ownership, under the leadership of Charles Kerr II.
Today, Kerr Lakeside Inc. manufactures hex socket screw products, precision-machined parts, and cold-headed components. The largest portion of Kerr Lakesides business is its sale of high-strength, critical application fasteners. These high-strength fasteners are produced on one of Kerr’s seven cold heading machines. This process takes a steel blank and presses it between a punch and a die to form the metal into a fastener blank. This process can reach speeds upwards of 200 parts per minute and results in no loss of material, unlike machining that removes metal to form the parts. After the fastener blank is formed, the threads are rolled between two dies that form the threads of the fastener. Both these processes allow for the part and threads to be formed with little to no material lost and provide for a higher strength part. Last, the parts are sent out locally to a vendor for heat treating to increase the strength of the fastener. All parts are then inspected at Kerr Lakeside’s in-house laboratory to ensure they meet the required specifications.
Kerr’s full line of hex socket screw products is sold through distributors across the United States and Canada. These fasteners are used in a wide range of products, including automotive, machine tools, tool and dies, heavy-duty machinery, and mining equipment. Kerr says, “The bolts can end up in critical applications, such as in vehicles and motorcycles, trucks, construction equipment, cranes, molds and dies. Bolts aren’t the most exciting thing, but they do an important job.”
One of the many challenges for Kerr Lakeside, like many other manufacturers, is the availability of skilled labor. Kerr has taken an active role in the industry’s efforts to develop its workforce going forward. Kerr is a member of a number of associations — Precision Machined Products Association, Industrial Fastener Institute, and Alliance for Working Together — that encourage manufacturing as a career path by working with students and educators of local schools. Several area community colleges, including Lakeland Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and Lorain County Community College, now offer two-year manufacturing-related programs as a result of the associations and their members.
Kerr Lakeside also supports local businesses. According to its plant manager, the company has bought a National Acme screw machine, belt sander, conveyors, shelving, motors and pumps from HGR Industrial Surplus and has sold surplus equipment to HGR, as well.
The Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC) is a consortium of 17 schools that offers career-oriented curriculum, job training and mentorship to special-needs students by focusing on their preferences, interests, needs and strengths.
On Oct. 21, CEVEC hosted its annual mock interview day at the Hilton Garden Inn, Mayfield Village. Three employees from HGR (CEO Brian Krueger, Human Resources Assistant April Quintiliano and me) attended to help 150 students with their interviewing skill.
There were two mock interview sessions with employees from 50 Northeast Ohio companies, such as McDonalds, Rockwell Automation, Arby’s, Cintas, CVS, Dave’s Supermarkets, Giant Eagle, Hilton Garden Inn, Jergens, Panera Bread, Toyota of Bedford, and others. During the lunch break, CEVEC students and staff presented on a range of topics, including the myths and facts about hiring people with disabilities.
Students showed up smartly dressed, prepared and confident. Here’s a snapshot of the 10 students that we interviewed in the morning session. We welcome you to get to know them as we did, in their own words:
Lisa from Mayfield: works at Menorah Park doing housekeeping (washing beds, trash and bathrooms) and at Pearl’s Place (wipe down tables and stocking); likes to read and play with her Bichon Frise; she cut coil and roll, scales and seal bags at CEVEC vocational program; favorite place she worked is at The Cleveland Botanical Garden during summer; least favorite was Old Navy because of complicated folding techniques; she’s good at time management and is a fast worker who completes tasks and is flexible to multitask; at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank she made lunches for people in need in an assembly line and helped kids who needed help completing their tasks
Cathy from Chagrin Falls: junior in H.S. in afternoon and CEVEC during the morning, which sends her to be a chef’s helper at Rockwell Automation; she works for her dad at Valley Marketplace weighing and pricing, stocking, and wiping the table; she’s good at drawing people and has gotten awards; she likes fashion and dress up, reading, and writing; her favorite class is English since she’s a good reader
Paul from Cleveland Heights: favorite place to work was Food Bank because he had a place to go; favorite subject was science; hobbies are watching and playing sports and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers; if he could do any job he would work at the Food Bank because he made sure the food was safe and liked being in the kitchen
Andrea from Richmond Heights: graduated in 2014; favorite class was math because she likes numbers; fave jobs were The Mandel Jewish Community Center where she sorted and hung clothes and Ursuline College because cleaning tables and chairs and recycling were a lot of fun; she likes music and computers and is best at cleaning up; she feels that she needs to improve her spacing and gets in the way of people; if could pick any job to do and get paid she would work at Ursuline
Anastasia from Shaker Heights: fave class is math and science and her least fave is math because it’s too easy; she likes going outside and likes basketball and watching the Cavs; favorite place to work was Shaker Theater cleaning theaters, bathrooms and games, and taking tickets; her least-favorite job was piece worker at CEVEC because it was hard but she’s gotten better; she was good at what she did at Doubletree Hotel stripping beds but needs to improve working in a team; she would like to work at Giant Eagle when she graduates
Jordan from Mayfield Heights: graduates in 2017; likes school and math is favorite subject with language arts his least favorite; he plays football as a safety and wide receiver and plays snare drum in the band; he works at Hillcrest Hospital in the surgery center transporting oxygen; he likes moving stuff around and restocking; he needs improvement on paperwork and filing; you can count on him to be there every day and be dependable; he got his wish because he wanted to see the Indians play the Cubs
Ja’Eona from Mayfield Heights: loves school and hates missing it; loves learning and it makes her happy; the other kids are her least favorite part because they get too wild; her favorite class is history, she runs to it and likes to hear what happened in America; she sings the National Anthem at school assemblies; her mom owns Martha’s Place and works with disabled men in their 50s and 60s and her dad is the pastor at Greater Fellowship Assembly, she hopes to take over both of their jobs; while she was eating at McDonalds, the owner offered her a job; prefers eating at McDonalds over Burger King but Wendy’s nuggets are better; she’s always on time and learns fast and is an asset because she can do it if she puts her mind to it; her area to improve is her attitude because she has downfalls and gets a little mad and can take it to a further extent but knows how to be professional and learned to be more calm; she would rather work by herself because she can do it better; watching her dad preach taught her skills and how to speak in front of people; she likes the medical field and would want to go into phlebotomy since blood doesn’t bother her
Nina from Mayfield Heights: graduates i2018; doesn’t like school; fave class is art and least is math and science; she practically failed physical science and has to retake it; she’s in the fuse club where they get together and do different thing, such as a Halloween party and costume contest; an animal shelter was her favorite place to work where she cleaned litter boxes and dog cages; she’s good at following directions and is nice to people; she likes to read books like The Hunger Games and fan fiction every day
Randall from Bedford: is a cashier and cleans and stocks shelves at Michaels; plans to go to Tri-C for a two years then transfer to a four-year college for a degree in nursing; science is favorite class because he likes to discover the chemicals and dissect a frog and pig and mouse; Pizza Hut favorite place to work because he likes pizza and was busy every day; there was good teamwork at McDonalds and they really liked him there because of his personality; he’s good at being a cashier, cleaning the lobby and restocking; he could improve at the register
Amari from Cleveland Heights: graduated in 2016; got job training through CEVEC in food prep at Menorah Park; fave classes were English, science and math; fave job was Food Bank because he portioned foods onto trays and enjoyed that; working in the dairy department at Dave’s was his least favorite because it was cold; if he could do any job, he would work at a restaurant in the kitchen and cook and use his skills with utensils; he enjoys TV, video games and music
Maybe one of these students is right for your organization. We found two long-term employees through CEVEC’s mock interview program. They have been an asset to our organization.
I talked to HGR Partner and CEO Brian Krueger about his involvement with CEVEC. He told me that he first heard about CEVEC eight to nine years ago from family friend Sandy Seigler who said that he helps kids who, primarily, are communication-challenged but who are productive, resourceful, good workers. Krueger was asked to conduct mock interviews twice per year for two to three years and attended graduations and open houses. Then, he found himself needing to fill some positions at HGR. Our first hire from CEVEC, Jeremy, worked in the tear down area to re-itemize or scrap items. Now, he floats to different areas throughout Operations, including incoming, set up, tear down and scrap. Derrick cleans restrooms, sweeps aisles and assists in tear down. Krueger says, “I encourage business owners to look within their organizations to see if there are positions that can utilize these students’ skill sets.” Most of them have experience in food service, mailroom, restocking, carrying and moving, or tear down.
On Oct. 25, we had our first organizational meeting of the school year with Bob Torrelli, Euclid High School’s Science Department chair and Robotics Team coach, to get the lay of the land before we head full tilt into preparation for the Alliance for Working Together’s (AWT) RoboBots competition on April 29, 2017.
With students about two months into the academic year, Torrelli says the robotics class, being offered for the first time, is full with 24 students working on eight LEGO robotics kits, four of which were donated by HGR. And, the class for next semester is full, as well. This course is open to juniors and seniors as a science elective. In addition to robotics, the school is offering an engineering class.
Outside of class time, there is a Robotics Club that meets weekly. Those 12 students will be designing and building the competition battle robot for AWT’s RoboBots battle. Ten students will be selected. Design should be complete by December. The school is looking for machine or fabrication shops willing to donate their time machining and assembling the bot over winter break so that students can begin assembly and testing in January when they return.
Two HGR employees, Nia Ashanti in Austin and Melanie Goryance in Euclid, spearheaded an effort to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month by passing out pink rubber bracelets to employees in both offices. According to Goryance, “Everybody was very excited to wear one to show support.” Ashanti says, “Everyone put theirs on immediately.”
They distributed the bracelets and a message that encouraged employees to remind themselves, their mother, wife, sister, friend or coworker of the importance of early detection. They also included information on local facilities and insurance coverage to encourage women to have a mammogram.
On Oct. 20, HGR Industrial Surplus hosted an open house and luncheon for its partners, community leaders and long-time friends to unveil a more-than-$1.2-million renovation. If you’ve never been to the back of the building, now you have two reasons to drive around: to visit the NEO Sports Plant and the new operations offices for HGR.
The open house ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and included a self-guided tour of the space, a luncheon catered by Chick-fil-A, and a meet and greet with HGR’s partners and long-time customer Jason Wein of Cleveland Art who made the signage, art, lamps and furniture in the area. It’s worth a stop by just to see his work!
Some visitors included: Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and City of Euclid Building Director Joe O’Donnell; Joe Barbaree, Northeast Shores Development Corporation; John Copic, publisher, The Euclid and Collinwood Observers; Charlie Sims, Sims Buick GMC; Sheila Gibbons, Euclid Chamber of Commerce; Audrey Holtzman and Superintendent Dr. Charles Smialek, Euclid City Schools; two Euclid Police Department officers; and our banking and insurance partners.
Next on the list of upgrades? A façade/entry improvement, landscaping and parking-lot resurfacing outside this new entrance at the back of the Euclid showroom facility.
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET), Cleveland Engineering Society and Crains Cleveland Business hosted its third-annual [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly at the John S. Knight Center, Akron, Ohio.
The event was showcased information, stories and demonstrations that spoke to the renaissance in manufacturing, globally and in Northeast Ohio. Some of the highlights included:
A breakfast keynote address by John E. Skory, president, The Illuminating Company
A lunch keynote address by Tim Timken, Chairman, CEO & President, TimkenSteel
Three breakout sessions that included a choice of area manufacturing speakers and panels who covered topics such as sales and marketing best practices, turnover, innovation, Lean, risk, rapid prototyping, safety, patents, STEM programs, Internet of Things and counterfeiting
An exhibitor hall with representatives from education, industry, construction and engineering, agencies, and technology
According to Ethan Karp, president, MAGNET, in his opening remarks, “Ohio ranks second in the nation for new manufacturing jobs created, and small manufacturing powers 40 percent of Northeast Ohio’s revenue.”
During Skory’s keynote speech, he says, “Ohio is third only to Texas and California in the amount of electricity consumed by industry. We are working to support advanced manufacturing and industry by constantly improving systems.”
Then, I attended the morning breakout entitled “Best practices in sales and marketing: identifying and capturing your customer” presented by Dave Winar, CEO, Winar; Dan Yemma, general manager, M7 Technologies; and Craig Coffey, U.S. marketing communications manager, Lincoln Electric. Winar says his company’s motto is, “Common sense, with humor, we will succeed.” That sounds like a great philosophy to live by! He also shared the “salesman ship” graphic that hangs over his desk and says, “The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Coffey focused on the fact that the way people find information now is different from how they did 10 years ago; so, manufacturers need to evolve the way they approach sales as the closer, not the opener and salespeople as deal makers instead of relationship brokers. He also spoke to the importance of a digital footprint and partnering with digital influencers.
In the lunch keynote, Timken quoted a statistic from the National Association of Manufacturers, “For every $1 spent in manufacturing, $1.81 is added to our economy” and that for every worker hired four more jobs are created. You could see his passion for manufacturing when he stated that, for him, manufacturing is “the excitement of making stuff” and the ripple effect of the interconnectedness of people who make things in the region.
In my second breakout session, “Don’t just teach – inspire students: making learning relevant,” Toni Neary, partnership architect, Edge Factor, showed a number of inspiring and, sometimes, chilling videos that illustrate the art of storytelling to connect with youth who “think the world is purchased, not made.” She says that her company partners with manufacturers to show them that “this isn’t your grandfather’s manufacturing facility. It’s not dark, dirty or dangerous.”
The Firefighter Phil program was founded in 1975 by Creative Safety Products to bring fire-prevention, fire-safety and respect-for-authority-figure lessons to grades K-2. On Oct. 17, 2016, I attended a session of the Firefighter Phil program at Arbor Elementary School that was presented by Firefighter Steve Fleck of The Euclid Fire Department and Ventriloquist Mike Eakins of Creative Safety Products to an auditorium full of first and second graders, their teachers and administrators. Fleck has been a member of the fire department for 25 years and says that they have been hosting the Firefighter Phil program for 18-20 years.
What does the program involve? Well, it was one of the most entertaining ways I’ve spent my morning in a long time! The program uses ventriloquists, puppets, magic tricks, humor and audience participation to make learning fun, entertaining and memorable. The puppets change each year for students who may have seen the presentation in the prior year. This year, Mac the Mouse and Uncle Vinny taught us a few things that I wanted to share with you.
If you remember nothing else, here are the main takeaways. Since we all went through this training as kids, a refresher never hurts. Plus, you can use these tips with your kids and grandkids!
To get out of the house, the rules are:
Low and go (crawl under smoke, test the door with the fingernail side of your hand to see if it is hot, and, if it is and the fire is outside the door, hang a sheet or blanket out of the window to signal to firefighters that someone needs help)
Have a family meeting place pre-arranged on the street or in the neighborhood in case of emergency so that everyone can be accounted for
Check your smoke detectors monthly by pressing the button to make sure they still are working. Change the batteries twice per year during daylight savings time.
Finally, if your clothes are on fire (and, here’s where there was an extra step that I never learned as a kid):
COVER YOUR FACE WITH BOTH OF YOUR HANDS
After the program, students received a grade-specific activity book to work on with parents, guardians and teachers. The Euclid Fire Department also created a child-sized room called a “smoke trailer” that is funded with donated aluminum cans. When classrooms visit the fire station, children can learn about fire safety in the room and see how smoke fills the room and where it is safe to crawl.
What’s it like being a female entrepreneur? The media tends to focus on men, whether it be sports, jobs, entertainment, you name it. But what about women? They’re equally as important and successful. That’s why I decided to interview a local entrepreneur to tell us what it’s like to be a woman business owner.
Take Brianna Michaels. She’s a 21-year-old business owner. I’m 23 and can’t imagine having the responsibility or patience to own my own company. Her company? Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply.
Tell me about your business. What exactly do you do?
My company is a landscape supply and design store. We sell all types of bulk materials, such as top soil, mulch, gravel, and limestone. We have other products, such as grass seed, fertilizer, straw, tools, PVC pipe, low-voltage lighting, and much more. I also employ an architect who meets with my customers to help with designing their home projects.
When did you start your company?
I started the company in February 2015 in Akron, Ohio; however, just this past April I opened another location in Medina, Ohio.
How did you get into this type of business?
It started with my father. He started his own landscaping/construction company 34 years ago; so, I grew up working by his side. From the day I began working with him, I have always had an interest in exterior design. Fast forward several years and my interest for the industry grew so much that I started Fairlawn Medina Landscape Supply to work alongside my father’s company.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on extending my business and opening a third location in the next three years. My 10-year plan consists of opening a nursery and selling plants wholesale and retail. I would also like to open a flower/homemade chocolate shop at some point but not anytime soon. I have a lot of plans for my future and slowing down is definitely not one of them.
Are there challenges to being a female business owner?
There are many challenges being a female business. I don’t receive much respect simply because I am a woman. I have had customers take one look at me and ask to speak to a man. I think women are viewed as not being as smart and responsible as men. Unfortunately, there aren’t many advantages to being a female business owner. I constantly have men making comments about my appearance or asking me out when they are much older than I am, which is very uncomfortable, at times.
What advice would you give to women who want to start their own business?
This sounds cliché, but, honestly, never give up. It’s so true. I’ve come to learn that those who are jealous of your success will do whatever they can to put you down. Being a female business owner means having patience with customers AND employees. A female tends to be looked at as bossy, whereas a male tends to just be looked at as a boss – not many people like to be told what to do by a woman. My father always told me, “You have to work hard to play hard,” and he’s right. Make your dreams into goals and don’t stop until you reach them.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Doug Fry, co-owner, Euclid Brewing Company)
Q: What did you do before you decided to start your own business?
A: Immediately prior to opening the brewery I was principal scientist in Process Chemistry at Ricerca Biosciences in Concord. Before Ricerca, I worked as a chemist in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for 10 years. And prior to that I taught college chemistry in South Carolina. Kim, my wife and brewing-company partner, is director of communications at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.
Q: Why did you and your wife decide to open a microbrewery?
A: There were two main reasons I wanted to open the brewery. The first was professional: I’ve worked for four different companies in my career, and each one of them had been sold at least once. Every change in ownership led to layoffs and churning, which was very stressful for all employees. I figured the only way I would have any job security in today’s economy would be if I started my own company. The only marketable skills I had were making drugs, making chemicals, and making beer. I figured starting a brewery would have fewer barriers than starting a pharmaceutical or chemical company. The second reason I wanted to start a brewery was more personal. I didn’t want to be one of those people who reaches old age and regrets not having tried something risky in his or her life. If I was going to start a brewery I couldn’t wait until retirement; I’d be too old to lift the 50-pound bags of malt!
Q: Why did you pick Euclid and your current location?
A: Kim and I have been Euclid residents since 2007. We love the fact that we can walk to great restaurants, such as the Beach Club Bistro, Paragon, and Great Scott. We’ve seen a lot of recent improvements in Euclid, and we wanted to be a part of that. We really wanted a location in a storefront in downtown Euclid because it would allow nearby residents to walk or ride their bikes to the tap room. We hope customers will come from farther away, but we really wanted to focus on being a gathering place for the neighborhood. Locating the brewery in downtown Euclid also had a fringe benefit: My commute went from 19 miles one-way (when I worked in Concord) to less than a half mile! I can walk or ride my bike to work now.
Q: How many beers do you offer? Styles?
A: Our goal is to always have six of our own beers on tap (We don’t plan to have any guest taps.). A typical line-up would include a lighter beer style, such as a blonde or wheat beer; a pale ale and an IPA; a darker beer, such as an amber or stout; and a seasonal beer or two, for example a saison or pumpkin.
Q: Hours and do you offer food?
A: Currently our hours are Thursday 4-7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4-8 p.m.. We might expand those hours as we learn more about our customers’ preferences.
Q: What is your brewing philosophy?
A: We prefer to brew traditional styles rather than more exotic beers. There probably will never be a chili-containing beer on tap at EBC! We also want to focus on sessionable beers (4-6% ABV) rather than higher-alcohol styles. The recent elimination of the alcohol cap on beers in Ohio will not affect our beer lineup.
Q: Since I met you at HGR one year ago, how did you hear about HGR and what made you stop by?
A: I first heard of HGR from a coworker at Ricerca. He knew I lived in Euclid and asked if I had ever been to HGR. He was adamant that I should go and look around. The first time we went it was an epiphany. I wanted to buy almost everything I saw, but Kim stopped me. It’s an amazing place! We’ve taken our daughter and son-in-law to HGR. They own a design firm in California, and we had to drag our son-in-law out of there at closing time.
Q: What have you purchased here, if anything?
A: We purchased a butcher-block-top industrial table for Kim to use for her stained glass projects a while back. When we were building the brewery, we looked for a low stand or table for our chiller in the brewery. We spoke to a sales rep who emailed us some options from time to time, but we ended up using cinder blocks!
Q: Anything else I missed that’s important and you would like to add?
A: I was a home brewer for approximately 10 years before starting EBC. I was bitten by the brewing bug when our daughter bought me a Mr. Beer kit for my birthday. I’ve always called Mr. Beer a gateway kit, the use of which leads to more and more spending on brewing equipment, and before you realize it you own a brewery!
Every week, HGR uploads about 20 new walkaround videos on a variety of new inventory in our showroom. If you can’t make it to the showroom or want to take a better look at a piece of equipment before paying a visit, subscribe to our playlist by clicking the red “Subscribe” button in the upper right on YouTube. Then you can be notified about new videos as they are posted. We also do some fun viral videos to make our customers laugh, educational videos, sale videos and some from the leadership of our company. You can find everything HGR on our YouTube channel and on our website.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger and HGR Customer Harriet Haxton)
In the word’s of Harriet about her and her husband’s most recent purchase:
“Calvin says you’re always interested in seeing what people do with the stuff they buy from you. Check out the pics of our most recent purchase. We call it the Lunar Lander Dog Food Bin. The first pic shows it in almost-original condition, with the exception of the position of the float. We like it sticking out of the top rather than hidden inside. Calvin added a Delrin stopper to the float tube so it hangs on the side of the bin while we’re scooping kibble. Pretty cool, eh?
Thanks for your patience with our many questions and keep up the good finds!”
We did a little Q&A. Here is more information about the Haxtons:
Q: How did you find out about HGR?
A: Calvin found HGR online through searching, searching, searching
Q: How long ago did you start shopping here, and why?
A: Calvin has been buying tools from HGR for a couple of years for his job shop which uses old machine tools. No CNC for him! He even uses equipment of my grandfather’s from the early 20th century and late 19th.
Q: What types of items have you bought? What do you look for?
A: He wants stuff for the shop. If he finds something weird, interesting or potentially useful for me, he shows it to me. Before the “Lunar Lander,” we got a stainless steel commercial kitchen floor cabinet. Our house is a pre-1860s log house. It has no built-in cabinets anywhere. We have an old Hoosier, a six-foot steel commercial shelving unit and a very old one-piece enamel sink/drainboard for counter space and storage. Now it’s considered “industrial chic” but we just like sturdy stuff that’s cheap and easy to clean. Brand new commercial kitchen fixtures are horrendously expensive! Besides, finding something unexpected from you at a bargain price is great fun!
Q: I understand that you are from Maryland. Have you ever visited us in person?
A: Visiting you was on our agenda on our last visit to Ohio (in June). Brake problems forced us to leave early. But we still plan to some day! We heat with wood; so, we don’t travel much in winter.
Q: What field do you work in?
A: I worked in the software industry for 23 years. 9/11 killed off most of my customers and the idea of dressing up and commuting long distances (95 miles and 2 hrs/day was typical) killed my incentive to stay in the industry. So, I got a job at my local post office, and I’ve been a rural mail carrier ever since. I am now part of my local community instead of just being a weekend visitor.
Q: Your email says “Haxton Ranch.” What kind of ranch do you have?
A: The name “Haxton Ranch” is a bit of a joke. I’m from California, where folks have ranches, not farms. The name is a permutation of Ranch Calvinian, which is a play on the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. We’re not like that, but our minds work in flexible ways. But we do have land, and I used to have two Tennessee Walking Horses (both mares). Finances (the postal service does NOT pay as well as the software industry), a propensity to break bones more easily in old age, and an inability to just let my horses be pasture decoration all led me to let go of my childhood dream. I did train and compete with my young mare and rode the older horse in all weather, terrain and venues. Lots of fun, but horses are very expensive pets. Tell
(Since the Haxton’s shop online with the help of their sales rep, we asked them for a photo and got this selfie! Now we know what some of our long-distance customers look like. Harriet added the disclaimer that Calvin had just had surgery and hates having his picture taken; so, this photo is extra special. He was willing to do it for HGR! Thanks, Calvin.)
I met Rebecca Rak and Mike Gemmer when they were shopping at HGR to find equipment for a good cause: The Lodi Family Center, housed at its current location in 6,000 square feet in the former Lodi Elementary School since 2014. Mike’s background is in IT software and teaching. Rebecca’s is in social services.
This Medina County family center offers a safe social place where peoples’ needs can be assessed and met, including adult programming for those over 55, a food pantry, Project Learn, a personal-care shop for nonfood items, parent support services such as cooking and nutrition classes, a toy shop for kids where they can “purchase” items with coins earned for doing their homework and going to counseling sessions, a study hall, a craft room, a playroom with a puppet theater, 10 laptops and one desktop computer, and an auditorium with a screen and projector.
Coming soon to enhance the robotics and tech club is a Makers Space with a science room, lab and arena for robot battle-war challenges, a wood shop and a metalworking shop. Students will earn coins, as they do for the toy store, to buy supplies, such as aluminum and mother boards, to build robots. Also in the future is an Internet café.
To date, Rebecca and Mike have bought shopping carts, Bunn coffee makers, a paper shredder, cabinets, a dolly and a wind tunnel for the science lab from HGR.
According to Executive Director Rebecca Rak, she began the Lodi Family Center to fill a need in the community after working for 12 years for Family First’s resource center. She was trained in crisis intervention, stress management and as a victim advocate for battered women. She then worked as a liaison with county police departments to help bridge people and connect them with agencies, counselors and resources that can help them. She currently works part time as a dispatcher for the Brunswick City Police Department and the rest of her time at the center.
The family center served 1,404 people in 2015 and an average of 40-60 kids per day this summer. In one week this month, 42 families used the food pantry.
Where does the funding come from? Everything is donated with the exception of small grants that supplied the pool table, filing cabinet and television. There were 121 volunteers in 2015 who rotated to serve and support the center’s needs.
For more information, visit The Lodi Family Center’s Facebook page. The center is open Mondays and Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for adults, Monday through Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for children up to high-school age and is available on Fridays to church, home schooling and community groups.
With the retirement of the Baby Boomers approaching, many manufacturing and machinist jobs will need to be filled. How many? 2.7 million. The problem? Many millennials lack the skills and experience (myself included).
Why be a machinist?
For starters, you DO NOT need a college degree. I have several friends who opted out of attending college, have a steady job and are doing financially well (if you guessed that they’re a welder, you are correct). Second, the average salary of a machinist in the United States is $41,000 to $46,000 (depending on the state in which you live).
No college debt. Almost guaranteed a job immediately. AND starting pay somewhere in the $40,000s. Still interested? I thought so. Keep reading.
Where to get proper training
Okay. So, now I have your attention. Great. Unfortunately you aren’t going to land a machinist’s job once you finish reading this and applying for a position (I mean, you might), but with a little work you will. If you’re still in high school, there is a good chance your school has a STEM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). If so, enroll. Even if it doesn’t interest you, you’re hurting yourself if you don’t. Who knows, you may love it!
If you’re not in high school (probably 99% of our readers), there is no need to worry. There are PLENTY of ways to get trained and experience to prepare for your future in machining. While it is possible to land a job with no experience, it is recommended to complete an apprenticeship.
In an apprenticeship program, you’ll study anything from machinery trade, operations, CNC programming and much more. These programs can take anywhere from 2-4 years and can be taken at a technical or community college. You may ask how this differs from a college degree, and I don’t blame you. One thing – money. YOU GET PAID TO BE AN APPRENTICE. YOU PAY TO BE A STUDENT. Need I say more?! Didn’t think so.
You completed your apprenticeship. What next? Two options: You can jumpstart into your career as a machinist, OR you can obtain the NIMS Credential (National Institute for Metalworking Skills). This will help you stand out from your competition. Perks of this achievement includes receiving a nationally recognized honor, improved professional image, secured job placement over others and many more. All you have to do is pass an examination, which should come with ease since you just completed a few years of training.
Don’t want an apprenticeship? No worries. Forget about who your best friend is. Google is your new best friend. Use it to your advantage. There are HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of online training classes. Unless you have no Internet access, there is no reason for you to not be able to find online training classes.
Even with all the training you receive, you will never be perfect at the job. That’s why companies require on-the-job training (OJT) to become a highly skilled machinist. All you need to do is land the job. From there on out, your place of employment will take care of you.
Get the training. Get the experience. Get your credentials. Land your dream job. Start earning hard-earned money. Advance your career. Be a machinist.
Ever wonder about the marketing value of a blog post for a company and how it can impact sales? Well, read on! Here’s just one example:
Bryan Korecz, HGR’s inbound logistics manager, received a request from one of our trucking companies. They, along with Ace Doran and Bennett International Group, were hosting their Third-Annual Driver Appreciation Day on Sept. 16 at A&H’s facility, 8500 Clinton Road, Brooklyn, Ohio. They were asking for a giveaway donation with HGR’s logo on it. The request was forwarded to the Marketing Department for fulfillment.
I contacted Andrea Cegledy, logistics manager at A&H. We provided them with 50 plastic folder/clipboards with HGR’s logo to be included in a duffel bag that A&H was giving to each driver. Andrea also invited me to the event so that I could blog about it here.
But, it didn’t stop there. I shared the post via Facebook and Twitter with A&H, Ace Doran and Bennett International Group (A&H is a subsidiary of those two larger companies). They all shared the post on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. We got new views, likes and followers from getting in front of their followers, who are exactly the demographic of HGR’s customers.
Then, I contacted all three companies and asked about backlinking from their websites to the blog post (basically, hosting a link on their websites to the blog on our website). A&H and Bennett did so. And, I linked from my blog to their websites to help with their organic SEO efforts.
Bennett is a global transportation company. Its domain authority (DA) is 36. DA is a search engine ranking tool that awards a score of 1-100 based on three factors: age of the website, popularity and size. Our goal is to increase our DA, which was, as of Oct. 3, 30 by backlinking to our site from companies with higher DA. If we increase our DA, it will improve our site’s search engine optimization (SEO) so that we are found more easily and higher up on the page in a Google search for content that resides within our site, including key words and topics in our blog.
In addition to positively impacting our organic (unpaid) SEO efforts and our ranking, we get in front of potential new customers who will see our website, become aware of us, if they weren’t already or be reminded of us if they were aware, and, potentially, create new customers. Win-win!
Here’s Ken Bridgeport, HGR’s Eye in the Sky, reporting on the football-field-sized pileup of pallet racking outside of HGR Industrial Surplus in Euclid, Ohio:
We have pallet racking we’re looking to move; so, we created a pallet rack request page on our website. If you are interested in pallet racking and have size requirements, fill out the form, and we will assist you! It’s that easy.
And, these aren’t your average videos! Check out our tour guide to Pallet Racking Paradise as a scenic getaway vacation:
The Firefighter Phil Program brings free fire-safety lessons into elementary schools nationwide since 1975 to teach K-4 schoolchildren the functions and roles of the fire department, actions they can take to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs. This is accomplished via a 30-minute, entertaining, school-assembly program using magic, games, songs, jokes and puppets to teach children about fire safety and prevention, fire drills, escape plans, 911, fire hazards, kitchen safety, smoke alarms, stop – drop –roll, get out & stay out, stay low & go, two ways out, and respect for authority figures.
One of Firefighter Phil’s animal pals stops by to teach the lessons with a member of the local fire department. To reinforce what students learned in the live presentation, each child is given a grade-specific activity book to take home. The program is made possible through advertisements in the activity book that are purchased by the local business community, including HGR Industrial Surplus. In addition to the satisfaction of helping teach children fire safety and potentially save lives, the businesses receive a certificate of appreciation signed by the fire chief.
This year, Assistant Chief Anderson of the Euclid Fire Department or one of his Euclid firefighters will visit Arbor Elementary School, Bluestone Elementary School, Chardon Hills Elementary School, Our Lady of the Lake School, Shoreview Elementary School and Saints Robert & William Catholic School in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9-15 and present to 1,700 students.
HGR Frequent Shopper Steve Timothy works full time as a millwright at Charter Steel. Sullivan Machine Tooling is his “side job” that he started in 2013 to build as his future retirement job. It all started in 2009 when he bought a 1977 Lincoln Electric doghouse welder, his “newest” piece of equipment, to make repairs for himself. Since he lives in Sullivan, Ohio, a heavily Amish community, his Amish neighbors knew he could weld and asked him to fix farm implements for them. That’s when he started doing repair work. Sometimes, rather than repairing a piece of equipment, it was easier to buy it from HGR and haul it home. So, Timothy began to buy equipment, fix and resell it, as well as haul equipment for the Amish in his community.
Since Amish do not use electricity, they adapt all electrical shop equipment to run off a line shaft with a belt drive. Some of the most common pieces of equipment that Sullivan Machine Tool has adapted include lathes, drill presses that carpenters and metal workers use, and pantographs designed to engrave jewelry that they convert into finish sanders for carpentry use with a rotary orbital head fit into a column with a moveable arm. Timothy says he has used a drill press for the same thing. In an Amish shop, a diesel engine powers a line shaft that runs the length of the shop under the floor and runs on V-belts. Diesel fuel is used because it is more efficient than gasoline.
In Timothy’s shop, he has a 1926 South Bend lathe, a 1937 South Bend lathe, a 1954 Bridgeport mill, a 1954 Cincinnati Bickford drill press that he bought from HGR, a small press and a car lift, plus all the machinery he is converting and tools in a 26-feet-by-30-feet pole barn. He transports equipment he purchases in an F450 dump truck and trailer with a moveable gantry crane and engine hoist.
He says that an Amish machine shop down the road runs a 17,000-pound shear (purchased from HGR), an ironworker, a press brake, lathes and a radial arm drill press, all nonelectrical. It has a tub on the roof to collect rainwater that is gravity-fed into a faucet sink since only well water with a pump would be used. A sawmill in his town uses a $20,000, three-sided planer for flooring and molding. It can plane flat surfaces, profiles and relief cuts. The planer had separate motors but the owner built belt drives and uses a diesel engine to drive the line shaft.
Sullivan Machine Tool does not advertise in local newspapers or online. All of his business is in the Sullivan and Homerville area and done by word of mouth as one person tells another person during their Sunday socials.
When shopping HGR, Timothy watches and purchase online unless there is something he needs to come up in order to check the condition. Then he makes the trip to transport an entire truckload at once. Currently, he has his eye on two gear hobbing machines that he will either use to make his own gears or sell to his Amish customers. The units are not complete; so, he is trying to solve the problem as to how to complete them to make them functional. He purchased a tool grinder with no attachments, pulled the motor off, and mounted a shaft for a drill press. He enjoys repurposing equipment for use as something other than what it was intended.
Timothy lives on 2.5 acres with his wife. His father-in-law lives on the property next door. He has a daughter who is a vet tech and a son who is a business major at The University of Akron. This man loves to keep busy and says he probably never will retire. Do you have a side job? Are a hobbyist? How do you feel about “retirement?”
According to Zara Brunner on the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s blog: “Manufacturing enables our everyday lives, drives our economy and can bring communities across the country together. This infographic represents how manufacturing is diverse, supports 18.5-million U.S. jobs and has a multitude of career opportunities, including engineers, designers, machinists and computer programmers. Just in time for this year’s Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7, it’s been updated to represent the amazing results of MFG Day 2015.”
How will you or your company be observing or celebrating manufacturing this Friday?