Editor’s Note: Our new series “Future Ready” captures UCEC’s efforts to prepare for the electrical control panel industry of the future. Read our first installment from CEO and President, Mark Inboden, and our second post from VP of Business Operations Evan Coulter.

Zach Fothergill

Zach Fothergill

By Zach Fothergill

Staffing our shop is an important job here at UCEC. We want to have fully-trained expert craftsmen and craftswomen ready to go for our upcoming projects. At the same time, we need to make sure that today’s electrical control panel projects are fully staffed. We can’t under-hire or over-hire. We don’t hire for peaks and valleys—we want to employ people who want a career, not a job.  

So, we carefully optimize staffing, trying to stay ahead of the curve. In the future, as now, we will seek out talented employees who aren’t afraid to ask questions and look for the best solution for a problem.

Hiring: It takes a village

To hire the future leaders of UCEC, we have to really keep our eye on current technology. For a long time, panels didn’t really evolve. But in the last decade, new tech has been changing things up. We’re seeing wireless communication and cloud-based applications, For now, this technology is not replacing humans, but if tech starts to change the employee landscape, we need to know about it. It’s important to always move forward. If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still and eventually falling behind.

Short-term national and international events can affect our industry: hurricanes, floods, economic downturns. It’s hard to predict these events, of course, but part of business planning is to recognize outside forces can affect our work as well.

Welcoming multiple generations
 

We have several generations on the shop floor at UCEC. From employees with decades of experience to those with just a year under their belt (or a little less!), we try to work with all ages. We know that younger workers have different needs and communication styles than older workers (and vice versa). Today’s younger workers will be tomorrow’s “seasoned” crew. We’ll continue to adopt this method of hiring in the future.

Unique training

Manufacturing hiring in America has been on the rise, however, young people aren’t necessarily prepared to work in high-technology manufacturing jobs. We’ve found a great way to employ and train these folks: our unique apprentice-style on-the-job training.

We are willing to train new employees and we’ll continue this into the future. The people who will succeed at UCEC are those who are open to learning new technologies, solving problems and working collaboratively.

Do you ask questions when you work? Excellent! We want to hire people who aren’t afraid to question things or raise their hand when they don’t understand something. UCEC has a great reputation as a shop that “thinks”—we offer suggestions or ways that might help the panel project come together smoothly. We’ll always do this, today and in the years to come.

Zach is Operations Manager for Production at UCEC.

 

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