By Zach Fothergill

Most kids are headed back to school this week (or have already been in session for a while). September is a time of renewal, new beginnings and new routines.

Zach Fothergill

Zach Fothergill

This time of year is often the same for adults, too, even though we’re probably not sporting new haircuts and new backpacks. Fall brings a rhythm of its own, even in a panel shop.

Our assembly team just added some new members. We’re working on a large project for an oil and gas customer, and the panels we’re building will go to well sites in North Dakota. The new employees are sorely needed for our busy production schedule.

It’s always a balance to staff efficiently and keep overtime to reasonable amounts. New employees are new students, in a way. They have to be shown the ropes and that takes time. So, productivity might dip a bit when a new employee begins, but then, hopefully, it ticks upward in a few weeks once the new team member is picking up experience.

It’s a constant balance. The key thing is, we have to think about our employee count about a month and a half in advance. We have to project how many people we’ll need, train them and keep them busy.

At UCEC, the “new kids” in the class all start with basic assembly: cutting panduit and din rail; screwing panduit and din rail down; and clipping on parts. After doing this for a while, I’ll teach them how to load the MC-80 Steinhauer CNC machine. Finally, after six months to a year of mentoring, the new employee is ready to take on their own jobs.

So, while Fall makes its way to Colorado, we’re already “in class” and studying what we’ll need in the coming months. If a career at UCEC sounds like something you’d like to explore, please send your resume to John Beattie at john [AT] ucec [DOT] com.

Zach is an Operations Support Manager at UCEC.


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