Original Date: 03/16/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Skills Training
Acquiring and training the right people are fundamental ingredients for success in today’s marketplace. During its rapid growth period between 1964 and 1967, Strite adopted several innovative employment practices which the company still uses today with excellent results. One of these practices involves the hiring of unskilled workers rather than skilled machinists. This practice enables Strite to train its employees from the ground up in an apprentice-type program.
Through its successful on-the-job training program, Strite creates a highly skilled and well-motivated workforce for the exacting requirements of ultra high precision machining operations. Although the company hires some individuals from the local community college, Strite routinely recruits many directly out of high school. Employees are trained in the set up, inspection, and troubleshooting aspects of a wide variety of machining operations, as well as how to work together in integrated teams. This approach produces a flexible and knowledgeable workforce who thinks in terms of concurrent engineering with six sigma quality; knows the importance of documentation; and strives for continuous improvement in the manufacturing process. In addition to meeting quality objectives, Strite’s approach promotes employee involvement by giving the employee the expertise necessary to meet customers’ requirements.
Strite encourages its employees to continue their education, and reimburses all collegiate courses and books that are applicable to the employee’s job. If economic conditions permit, the company also gives bonuses to its employees based on position, length of service, and performance. Normally, layoffs do not occur, and employees are not required to retire when they reach 65 years of age.
Strite’s employees have responded to this enlightened and innovative management and training approach with an unusually high sense of dedication and faithfulness to the company. More than one quarter of the employees have 25 years or more with the company. There are several examples of two-generation family members working at Strite, and at least one example of a three-generation family. Strite’s commitment to its employees and their well-being engenders a sense of harmony, cooperation, efficiency, and family that is serving the company well as it competes in the global marketplace.
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