By Zach Fothergill
There’s good news for people who want to join the UCEC team of craftsmen. We’re hiring Control Panel Craftsmen at our Arvada shop. I thought I would talk today about the unique UCEC training process.
Unlike the majority of our competitors that use one person from start to finish on their control panels, UCEC takes a different approach. Our team members specialize in either the panel building side or the technical wiring aspect of our custom electrical control panel projects. We’ve found that usually our employees have a talent and inclination for one side of the shop or the other.
But with green UCEC team members, how does a manager know where to assign them? Usually, this discovery process starts in the interview. A prospective employee might have prior experience in fabrication or construction or perhaps electrical wiring skills and reading schematics. In this case, the interviewee will most likely want to stay with his or her skillset. They’ve found their “sweet spot” and we want to encourage that.
If the interviewee isn’t set on one side of the shop over the other, we’ll probably look for clues: do they like to take things apart and put them back to together? That person probably will build panels. Or do they have fine-motor skills and enjoy handcrafting technical or detailed items? That interviewee would probably be assigned to the wiring side of the shop.
Once we welcome aboard our new employees, we throw them right into a project, accompanied by a seasoned mentor. Some new hires are surprised that we don’t have a two-week intro class, but we think the best way to learn is on the job. So, I like to assign our latest hires to a well-trained and experienced mentor who can teach them as the panel is being built. We rotate the new employee from mentor to mentor so they can learn from several experienced employees. Plus, I know that not everyone teaches or learns in the same style. With our apprentice-style program, new employees are given many opportunities to learn in different manners, from different teachers.
Beyond the physical work, there is a mental skill that our best team members continually develop, and it’s the skill of looking for mistakes in advance. Ninety percent of the panel design will be on the schematic, but about ten percent won’t be explained or is sometimes missing. Part of new employee training includes looking for and anticipating where mistakes might appear—and fixing them before there’s a problem.
Check out our hiring post and perhaps pass it on to your network. We’re a hard-working and talented team with room for more.
Zach is Operations Support Manager at UCEC.