Staffing agency develops associates for skilled-trades jobs

skilled tradesman

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Karen Sating, SHRM-CP and branch/market manager at Manpower)

Tell us in 3-4 sentences what service Manpower provides and what your role is.

With offices in 80 countries, Manpower provides contingent and permanent staffing to organizations of all sizes with solutions to enhance business agility and competitiveness. Manpower helps companies manage the ever-changing talent needs in today’s world in which rapid access to the right talent is a powerful competitive advantage. With our understanding of staffing trends and our pool of highly qualified candidates, Manpower can deliver the talent, matching the right individual to the right job.

What is your experience working with manufacturers or in the trades?

For more 60 years, Manpower has developed an understanding of high-demand occupations in manufacturing. We offer proven recruitment processes to find the right candidates. Finding skilled trades workers is a major challenge for organizations in the U.S., especially workers with the knowledge and experience for a specific job. It’s also Manpower’s core competency. Manpower is staffing for project work, peak production, year-round needs, and one-person jobs with qualified workers.

What are the greatest employment challenges that manufacturers face?

We are now at a turning point in the manufacturing workforce environment in North America. There are major changes underway in the demand and supply for manufacturing workers – many driven by new technologies – that will require new strategies and tactics for both companies and employees. For the fifth consecutive year, skilled trades positions are the hardest to fill globally according to our 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey.

How is the fact of Baby Boomers aging out of the system affecting the employment landscape?

Due to the aging North American workforce and a lack of younger talent to fill the pipeline, a generational skills gap also exists in manufacturing. Because of declines in domestic manufacturing, productivity gains, and a weak economy, many companies have hired few manufacturing workers of any type during the last couple of decades. As a result, many existing employees are nearing retirement. This generational shift will lead to even greater demand for new manufacturing workers for the jobs that remain.

How do you find qualified candidates?

We use a number of methods to attract the right candidates for the right jobs. From targeted local recruiting techniques to technology-enhanced recruiting, we use a wide-ranging methodology to identify the best candidate pool. Additionally, we maintain a pool of available candidates in our proprietary database and will partner with our clients to further anticipate skills and usage patterns.

What types of manufacturing and industrial positions do you staff?

Manpower staffs all types of manufacturing positions from general laborers to skilled trades.

Is there training available to enhance their skills?

Manpower offers free training to our associates via MyPath. With the ever-changing demands, we consider training a key differentiator for our associates’ productivity, efficiency, and long term satisfaction.

  • Assessment tool – We are offering a preference evaluation that allows our candidates and associates to align their likes and natural drives to jobs that match those preferences, which gives them the guidance they need to accelerate their career.
  • powerYou – We provide our associates with the courses to fill any knowledge or skill gaps through this online classroom. Associates do not need to apply for this resource. They are able to easily sign up with an username and password that should occur outside of regular working hours and is non-compensable.
  • Full College Tuition Coverage Program – Manpower is partnering with Western International University to offer our eligible, actively-assigned associates who apply for a Pell Grant with the opportunity to pursue a first-time associate’s or bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs.

What advice do you have for someone seeking a job in manufacturing?

Manufacturing candidates, especially those in skilled trades are in high demand. We’ve seen a rise in the number of businesses focused on training and development to fill talent gaps. We expect to see this number grow. That’s why we support companies and individuals to nurture learnability, which is the desire and ability to learn new skills to be employable for the long term.

What advice do you have for manufacturers seeking skilled employees?

As organizations report the highest talent shortage since 2007, employers look to develop their own workforces to fill in-demand roles. More employers than ever are filling talent gaps by training and developing their own people. This number has more than doubled since 2015, from one in five to more than half.

Manpower logo

 

Veterans fill manufacturing skills gap

veteran shaking hands with employer

As we continue to experience a skills gap as Baby Boomers age out of the system and we struggle to replace them with skilled labor, have you considered hiring a veteran? By 2020, this will be a pool of four-million candidates, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who have the training, experience and dedication that lend themselves to careers in manufacturing.

PolymerOhio states that veterans are goal-minded, resilient, used to working in a fast-paced environment with little room for error, and critical-thinking, strategic leaders. On its website, PolymerOhio provides a list of local and national organizations that can help connect veterans with employers.

There’s even an informative program, “From military front lines to manufacturing front lines,” outlined in a 16-page PDF through The Manufacturing Institute’s website that helps veterans get factory ready and encourages business owners to hire them. General Electric also sponsors the Get Skills to Work coalition that connects manufacturers, educational institutions and veterans’ advocates in order to prepare future veterans for careers in manufacturing.

The benefit to veterans? Many opportunities are available for high-paying, challenging careers as they re-enter civilian life.

Today is Veterans Day! Thank you for your service.

Bond issue passage for Euclid City School District makes new construction possible

Euclid High School facade

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Audrey Holtzman, public relations & marketing coordinator, Euclid City Schools)

The Euclid City School District secured passage of Issue 111 this week. This successful effort will allow the schools to rebuild their high school, build a new middle school, construct an Early Learning Village on the site of Forest Park Middle School, improve recreational facilities at Sparky DiBiasio Stadium and Memorial Park, and convert the Central Middle School property to a MetroPark. 

Dr. Charles Smialek, Superintendent of Euclid Schools, issued the following statement:

“Thank you to our Euclid community for believing in our school district and passing Issue 111. We have secured a much brighter future for our district because of you! 

We continue to have much work to do to become the district we need to be for our community and students. We will soon begin a strategic planning process to help us collaboratively lend clarity to our immediate future. In the coming weeks, we will communicate these steps and ask many of you to participate in the process. Today, however, let us celebrate a truly significant victory for Our Euclid.

We will immediately begin to prepare to rebuild our high school, construct a new middle school, shape an Early Learning Village, and improve multiple recreational outlets in our community. We will work to ensure that our efforts will improve Euclid for generations to come.”

The 7.89 mill bond issue passed by more than 1,100 votes and will result in an increase of approximately $16 per month in property taxes for the owner of a home valued at $70,000. The overall cost of the construction will be offset by a $40-million contribution from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Tips & tricks for implementing Lean/Six Sigma tools

Lean manufacturing

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Chris Adams MBA, Lean BB and Six Sigma BB)

Lean and Six Sigma have been methodologies I have used throughout my career, whether I knew them at that time by those names or not. Educated in Industrial and Operations Engineering “at that school up north,” The University of Michigan, and subsequently obtaining an MBA at The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, I was fortunate enough to get the strict schooling behind me and then later obtained my Lean Black Belt through the corporate Lean office of Emerson Electric in St. Louis and my Six Sigma Black Belt through Lorain County Community College via Dan Sommers who is a Six Sigma Black Belt alumni from GE Lighting.

The vast majority of my experience with Lean and Six Sigma methodologies has come through the manufacturing world. So, the first tip I would propose is to start with the Lean Journey 5S (or sometimes companies choose to use 6S to call out safety separately) if you and your organization have the wherewithal and commitment. Instituting the rigors of 5S and then maintaining are definitely a place where good standard work and an audit process pay off.

But, many an organization is too impatient to allow for the “cost” of 5S and the, sometimes, soft-cost savings to be returned. So, my second tip, Value Stream Mapping is still the way to make the current state be documented and understood as well as provide for the solid basis on which future-state Value Stream Maps can drive the profitability of an organization in the right direction.

My third tip is to use, sooner rather than later, the Value Stream Mapping process to understand back to the suppliers’ supplier and forward to the customers’ customer. I have been with organizations that have been successful in implementing and working with their suppliers and customers as a win-win in the value chain.

The fourth tip is to have a solid foundation for the process used to implement project- or process-based change. In my last two roles, I have been fortunate enough to work with organizations that were committed enough to the process of leading change that Policy Deployment (or Strategy Deployment or X-matrix) were truly practiced. An organization that waterfalls its top three to five main corporate objectives to the associate on the floor really understands what teamwork is all about.

My fifth and final tip is that, although my experience (and to this point) a significant amount of the use of Lean and Six Sigma tools have come through the manufacturing world, service industries are a hotbed where these tools can be more universally applied. In my personal experience as a volunteer at one of the most respected hospital systems in the world, we’ve learned that a process is a process and can be improved.

 

HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein, an industrial artist with dyslexia, sells his work to celebrities, high-end retailers and five-star hotels

Blown glass bowl at HGR and bought by Steven Spielberg as party ice buckets and gifts
Glass bowl like those purchased as ice buckets and party gifts by Steven Spielberg

We talked with HGR Frequent Shopper Jason Wein of Cleveland Art about his life as an artist, his philosophy and his connection with manufacturing. If you visit HGR’s new offices located at the rear of our existing building, you will see tables, chairs, signage and decorative items that he made. Since his work is owned by famous Hollywood stars, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow and Steven Spielberg and is featured globally, including the Timberland store in London, we are honored to have his work in our building. If you’ve ever visited us on a Wednesday for lunch and sat at the tables with built-in stools or at the computer terminals in our customer lounge, you are sitting on and at Jason’s creations. You can see a glass bowl in our new offices that is just like the hundreds he blew for Spielberg to use as ice buckets and to give out as gifts at his parties.

When asked about how he got his start as an artist, he says, “I have dyslexia really bad. As a kid of about eight years old, I embarrassed my parents when I garbage picked bicycles and went to abandoned industrial buildings. I always had busted knuckles from working on cars, garbage picking and making furniture. My teachers told me that I wouldn’t make it in anything and were abusive, but then a high-school art teacher told me that I was talented and encouraged me to follow a career in art rather than a mechanical career. I went to Kent State University for a year but the teachers didn’t like how I was doing things; so, I went to Alaska to get inspiration from ice and water for my blown glass.”

He was born in New Jersey, lived in Cleveland since he was 10 then lived in Alaska for many years and didn’t think that he would leave, but, since his art is inspired by The Rust Belt and he wanted to raise a family, he came back to Cleveland, and here he remains. He is married with two sons: one 18 years old at Ohio University where he majors in film writing with a minor in marketing, the other 14 years old who wants to make money and may work with his uncle’s bank.

Jason shops for materials and makes everything in Cleveland then ships it to his 10,000-square-foot Los Angeles gallery to sell. He also makes pieces on commission and for architects and designers to furnish to their clients. In Cleveland, he blew an 80-foot glass chandelier and made furniture for The Metropolitan at the 9, Cleveland’s only five-star hotel.

About his inspiration, he says, “Most people don’t look at a bridge as a piece of art, but it is a perfectly balanced piece of art. It is the epitome of art. The reason I chose to do the project for HGR is because I walk in HGR the way people walk in parks to get inspired by trees. I get inspired by machines. I’ll see a machine that three people spent their lives behind. Their initials are carved into it. You can see their fingerprints and wear marks on the seat. These machines tell stories. The people who made and worked at the machines are artists and never got recognition for building our country. Those machines cost more than a house, and factories had 50 machines in one room. Now, one person can operate several CNCs and take over a whole factory of people. In a time where we have time, we don’t have time anymore with cell phones and computers. People spent their lifetimes punching holes and slicing metal; they did one thing, and that’s all they did. Machines look like beautiful prehistoric creatures. And, there’s no place in the world like HGR where you can see 10 acres that are a sign of the past when things were made quality. The drill presses there will outlive you, but a new one is disposable.”

He started out bartending from age 19 to 22 to subsidize the art. He says his background is in garbage picking and buying junk, art and antiques. He mainly makes functional objects, such as lights, tables and shelves but, lately, has been getting into some sculptural stuff like the interior and exterior lighting, outdoor sundial and globe sculpture at One University Circle, a five-star, high-rise apartment tower in Cleveland. He uses wood, metal and glass, more natural materials, not those that are synthetic or manmade, like plastic.

He learned about HGR because he used to drive around neighborhoods in Cleveland looking for old buildings to get claw-foot bathtubs. He took 40 of them with him to Alaska. That’s how he met the HGR guys — when they worked at McKean Machinery and he was a customer. HGR CEO Brian Krueger was his salesman. When they left McKean to form HGR, Jason followed him.

I asked Jason if he is considers himself a maker or upcycler. He says, “We were doing it before it was cool. When I started in the 90s, it wasn’t cool. People didn’t want “used” stuff. In 1994, I got the marble bathroom stalls and bronze gargoyles and dragonflies from Terminal Tower and some barn stalls. I used them with stone and marble to make shoe-shine stands and clock faces. People were convinced they were antique clocks. I bought camouflage, combat boots, trench coats and Levis from the U.S. Army and from thrift stores to sell to high-end stores in New York City. The full name of my company was Cleveland Art and Antiques. I started out in hiding as an antique dealer so people didn’t think I was an upcycler.”

Jason Wein of Cleveland ArtI asked him what he does when he’s not making art. He doesn’t. He says, “I live, breathe, think and dream it. I like to work.” He also shared his insights about manufacturing trends that affect his work. He says, “For my business, the technology we use is old and outdated. It’s handmade and handcrafted. I pay 20 percent of my employees’ wages to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. As a small business I struggle to stay afloat then large, chain hardware and home furnishing companies steal my designs and farm them out to India for $3-4/week in wages to make what I make for pennies on the dollar. It’s hard to be competitive; so, I’m always changing my designs and have to sell to the top 2 percent of the population because the stuff I make is expensive. I never wanted to be restricted to who I sell to but it’s hard to sell to a regular market with cheap imports.”

His advice to aspiring artists and makers? “For anyone who goes into the arts, people told me you’re so inspiring and that they wanted to go to school for glass or furniture making. I would tell them to go to school for business and minor in art. They need the education in the business end of selling their art. They need to be a good buyer, seller and smart manufacturer. There are so many hats you have to wear. A lot of people blow glass and are color blind and try to use color but don’t understand color. So, I do clear glass and can have every color of the rainbow in it. I understand what sells. It’s a very difficult way to make a living.”

Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR
Conference table made by Cleveland Art for HGR

Thoughts from Justin: 3D printers coming to a library near you

Maker space at library

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

If you remember, I wrote a blog about the future of 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Hopefully my goal of sparking your interest in the industry was achieved. If not, well, I’m sorry. BUT, this post should change your mind.

If you live near Cleveland and aren’t a member of the Cleveland Public Library, you may want to change that. Back in 2014, the library added 3D printers for the public’s use. Note: Libraries offering 3D printers to the public are available nationwide. Just call your local library to see if they are available. If you’ve ever wanted to give one of these printers a shot, now is your chance.

Libraries across the country are unveiling ‘MakerSpace’ stations, which are essentially places for people to gather to learn about technology and get hands-on with the machines – 3D printers being a hot topic right now.

For those who have access to the Cleveland Public Library, their MakerSpace station provides access to 3D printers, laser cutters, music production equipment and many other tools. It is located in the lower level of the Louis Stokes Wing at 325 Superior Avenue (open Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

If you’re looking to pick-up a new hobby, make a trip to a MakerSpace. I haven’t been to a library since high school, but that will change in the next couple weeks! Who knows, you might find your next favorite activity AND a new friend. If you have been to a MakerSpace station before, feel free to comment below with your experience of it and where it was.

HGR celebrates Halloween in style, and you can vote for your favorite costume

Scary jack o'lantern in the woods

Our offices are decked out with Halloween decorations. We have donuts. We have chocolates. And, we have costumes (not for sale). Stop by for a ghoulishly good time.

Cast your vote by Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. for your favorite costume and share photos of yours with us here.

 

 

Local bolt manufacturer had its roots in WWII war effort and supplies bolts to critical applications

excavator loading dump truck at construction site

(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.

Kerr Lakeside logo

Meet some talented, nontraditional students who could be an asset to your organization

CEVEC mock interview

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.

CEVEC students

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.

HGR employee Jeremy
Jeremy in his Employee-of-the-Month photo
Derric and metal gorilla
Derrick with the gorilla he made from HGR scrap

Looking for machine/fabrication shops willing to help Euclid H.S. with its battle robot

LEGO robot kit

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.

HGR employees wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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.

HGR's Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness
HGR’s Austin office showing its support of breast cancer awareness month

HGR unveils new offices

Euclid mayor and two HGR partners

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.

Guests eating at Cleveland Art table

Manufacturing undergoes renaissance and evolves its image

MAGNET [M]Power Manufacturing Assembly

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.”

Firemen and puppets teach elementary children about fire safety and prevention

Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
First and second graders at Arbor Elementary School

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.

Uncle Vinny of Firefighter Phil at Arbor Elementary
Uncle Vinny and Mike Eakins

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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
  3. Call 911

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):

  1. Stop
  2. Drop
  3. COVER YOUR FACE WITH BOTH OF YOUR HANDS
  4. Roll

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.

me-and-mac-the-mouse
Mac the Mouse and me

Thoughts from Justin: Interview with a woman business owner

Brianna Michaels

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger, Justin Mobilian, HGR’s sales & marketing summer intern)

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.

Microbrewed beer and Euclid: it’s all about the chemistry!

 

Moss Point Ale at Euclid Brewing Company(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?

Doug and Kim Fry of Euclid Brewing CompanyA: 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!

Euclid Brewing Company storefront

 

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