Last week, we sent Operations Support Manager Garrod Massey and Ron Siauw from our Quality Control team to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) in Chicago for additional training. They reviewed and trained on the three UL classifications we offer at UCEC: NNNY; 508A and 698. Our clients often request these classifications, and they come with stringent guidelines. Garrod and Ron brushed up on the classifications and then returned to train the rest of the wiring team.

While Garrod and Ron were gone, I reflected on how it can be tough to let vital staff members go away for a week. Why? Because they are an integral part of crafting panels for our customers! But even with this fact, UCEC gladly sends our folks off for enrichment, training and trade shows.

I once read a quote from a CEO who answered this question with one of his own: “But what happens if we invest in training all of our people and they leave?” The CEO’s answer: “What happens if you don’t train them and they stay?” Wise words, indeed.

Training is important to all jobs and positions. If we are to deliver on our promise to our customers to produce the best panels at a fair price, then we need highly-trained craftsmen and women working at the top of their game. Most people need additional skills and training to get to the “top tier.” At UCEC, we are here to provide that training, whether it’s in-house or many states away. (And sometimes, the training is international!)

Now that being said, when we voluntarily take great employees off the shop floor, planning has to be in place so our production schedule and customer expectations don’t suffer. We’re a small shop and each person is scheduled efficiently so we can create our panels, wire them, test them and then send them on to the customer. We don’t have an army of craftsmen sitting around waiting for something to do. Everyone has a job, all of the time.

So, in the case of Garrod and Ron’s training week, I stepped in to backfill some of their work. My experience in the panel industry allows me to help out like that. It’s worth it, of course, because we’re always looking for that next step we can take in the shop. Our talented team needs and deserves advanced training. And as a member of the management team, I’m a part of making sure that happens.  

John is Operations Manager for Production.


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