How Advantage Engineering is training the next generation of manufacturing professionals
There’s never a dull day in manufacturing, especially for the workers at Advantage Engineering’s workshops in Canada.
Windsor, Ontario was the mold making capital of the world – at least before China wooed some high-volume manufacturers offshore – and that’s where Advantage Engineering set its base. It’s where the right talent was easily available. From the early days, the management has had a strong emphasis on attracting & retaining workers with the right skills and grooming new workers who had a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn.
That’s still pretty much the company’s philosophy with regards to talent.
The global manufacturing industry is strong and can withstand even the most challenging economic storms – as explained by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations. Workers in this industry know that they’ll always have a stable income, no matter what.
The ongoing pandemic is a good example of this. Despite sending company after company into lockdown, forcing layoffs in hospitality, retail, and many others, the pandemic didn’t impact manufacturers as severely. Those that intended to keep the lights on were able to do that.
Management at Advantage Engineering knows it was hard to keep going with health and safety regulations changing frequently and attendance rosters becoming erratic – but the company and its workers hummed through.
Truthfully, Advantage Engineering doesn’t just look for skill. It recognizes that people can be trained if they’re keen and is big on giving people opportunities. While constantly providing training to workers to help them get better at their craft, the company also provides everyone with a chance to take on bigger roles, more responsibility, and ultimately, climb the corporate ladder.
Managers work with the company’s HR team to lay out a career path for workers who are keen to grow. However, the reality is that everyone has different plans for their careers and themselves, and Advantage Engineering recognizes that.
Ultimately, the leadership has a desire to provide employees with a better life
Advantage Engineering is primarily into additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, and bridge tooling. Compared to its peers in Windsor or anywhere else in the industry, the work at the company is more exciting because nobody works on the same job for too long.
It’s just the nature of the business. There’s always a variety to deal with – on some days, there’s an automotive fascia that’s taking up people’s attention, another day it’s a carbon fiber windmill blade, and so on.
The company actually goes the extra mile to root out monotony and employs a host of robots and automated equipment to make that possible.
Advantage Engineering founder Steve Hengsperger has a strong focus on cultivating a culture in the company where workers are cared for. He remembers a conversation with a friend’s father who was in the business of building nuclear plants. He said that when someone on the shop floor asks for a new hammer or tool, it’s so easy to justify – but we never think about buying a new chair for an employee to make it comfortable for him to sit all day. That stuck with him and opened his eyes to being a steward of his facilities.
Given that mindset, the company’s leadership not only takes the health and safety of its workers seriously but also makes extra effort to provide them with better workspaces inside and outside. It’s what impresses representatives of the Ministry of Labor every time they come in to audit Advantage Engineering – they’re always delighted to see the company making efforts to keep the air in its facilities clean, create more ventilation, and so on.
More recently, the company has taken on a voluntary renovation of the canteen area to make sure employees have a good experience when they go on breaks. Once the job is completed, employees will enjoy a better space that provides more room, a better ambience, and a more refreshing experience overall.
At the end of the day, there’s no denying that work in manufacturing involves tight deadlines and translates into a lot of pressure overall. But it’s the same everywhere in the industry. At Advantage Engineering, managers try to lead by example, the management team is always around and ready to offer support, and employees feel like everyone’s in it together, which alleviates some of the pressure.
Workers in the company recognize this. It’s why many people in the company have been around for decades and hope to continue working at Advantage Engineering till retirement. It’s really the place where workers feel challenged, appreciated, and cared for – and when new workers come in, they train them and set them up for success for a long-term career in manufacturing.
If you’re keen to work at Advantage Engineering, please email email@example.com and the recruitment team will get in touch with you. The company is always on the lookout for people who can consistently show up with a great attitude and are willing to learn.