Learning about the world of electrical control panels has been an eye-opener for new employee John Westbrook. As a member of the Fabrication team, John says he knew very little about panels when he was hired three months ago.
“I had never really seen one, so it’s been cool to come in and see what’s going on behind the scenes,” John says. “Without control panels, a lot of these industries wouldn't be able to do what they do.”
John already knew his way around building something from scratch. Prior to UCEC, he worked in construction as a member of a residential remodeling team. Other jobs have included working at a large wholesale retailer and at his father’s engraving business. John graduated from Ralston Valley High School in 2013.
Having prior panel experience isn’t a requirement for employment at UCEC. The company excels at training the right people: candidates who are curious, teachable and able to ask for help when they need it.
John’s first job at UCEC was learning to build some basic back panels. After that, he says he started learning how to program and operate the Steinhauer CNC machine. “I’ve run laser engraving machines,” John says, “But the Steinhauer is a lot more complex!”
A typical day for John means being flexible. He might work on back pans and then switch to the Steinhauer machine. Or he might jump from one project to another as deadlines approach for large projects. The hardest part of the job? John says it’s jigsawing holes on the outside of the enclosures. “It’s one of the more expensive pieces of materials we work with. If you do the hole the wrong way, you set everyone back.”
John is learning the in’s and out’s of a new industry. A few months into the job, he’s beginning to understand when he sees a certain company’s name on the project, he knows the panels are headed to an oil and gas company’s rig or a beverage plant conveyor belt.
Although he has a lot to learn, John says UCEC is already setting him up for success by pairing him with experienced fabricators. “The company has been really good at putting you together with the right person for the task. Everyone steps in to help,” he says.
Life for John away from the shop centers around music, his girlfriend and his husky. John plays guitar and piano, and is starting to learn the violin. Another one of John’s hobbies is photography; he’s currently breaking in a new camera.
More UCEC Employee Spotlights
At UCEC, we work hard. We play hard. And we spend the work day (and some weekend hours!) with our co-workers who are like family. Here's a quick roundup of some images from our shop, offices and beyond. Enjoy!
It took Denise Nation a few twists and turns to end up on the Wiring team at UCEC in 2016. Her first career track was in healthcare, but she had a feeling that wasn’t exactly what she was supposed to do. A chance to attend school for avionics electronics was intriguing; Denise says she always liked figuring out how things worked.
I think the members of the Wiring Team are all artisans. There’s a lot of creativity. It’s kind of one of those hidden heroes type of jobs. People don’t understand what they do, but our people put in a lot of effort.
Hello blog readers! Regular visitors to our blog know we frequently highlight our employees, whether through Employee Spotlights, in Quick Photo Fridays or in our Management Team stories, just to name a few!
“To be quite honest, starting here a year ago felt like coming home,” John says. “I got here, and the slot was waiting for me. I came in, and within a few hours, I was handed my tools and I had a job to start. I felt like I belonged.”
I am continually amazed at our creative team members here at UCEC. Led by Operations Support Manager Zach Fothergill and Wireman Morgan Burris, the team just designed, fabricated and installed a brand-new UCEC logo in our headquarters lobby.
Max Nelson moved to Denver a few years ago for a change of scenery and a chance to start a new career. He found all that and more at UCEC, where he’s worked as a wireman on the Wiring side of the shop since December 2015.
When it comes to the UCEC team, we're not shy about telling the world that we make the best control panels, period. All of our departments continually push for improvements in technology and processes. We travel to tradeshows and search for the latest in new tech. We take classes in the newest UL standards. We never settle for "good enough."
We've had sustained high winds here in the Denver Metro area the last few days. And while we might prefer the calmer, more "lamb-like" performance of late March, we're keeping on with the work of panel craftsmanship inside the shop.
Editor's Note: Last year, we asked our CEO and President, Mark Inboden, eight questions. We decided to return again with five more questions about UCEC, leadership and the future of panel building.