Tag Archives: jobs

Family Business Gives $6.6 million in Bonuses to Workers

The PEER Bearing Company (a manufacturer of bearings based in Illinois) was bought out by a Swedish company this year. The family that had owned the company gave surprise bonuses of $6.6 million to the 230 employees of the company (an average of over $28,000).

family thanks employees with surprise bonuses

Family members signed two thank-you cards to each employee, one in Spanish and one in English, expressing gratitude for “the loyalty and hard work of our employees over the years.” “They treated us like extended family,” said Maria Dima, who works at the company along with her husband, Valentin. “We won the lottery.”

On the day the checks were distributed, Valentin Dima watched as co-workers broke down in tears over their bonus checks. He drove home first, then opened his envelope: $33,000. His wife received a check for a smaller amount, and the two Romanian immigrants have since taken a Caribbean cruise to celebrate.

The new owners intend to operate the company based 40 miles north of Chicago as a wholly owned subsidiary. Workers have been told that most will keep their jobs.

A small bit of good news for these troubling times. It is nice to see true respect for people being practiced. The family also created the Spungen Family Foundation, 2 years ago.

Related: Tilting at Ludicrous CEO Pay 2008Focus on Customers and EmployeesPeople are Our Most Important AssetManufacturing Continuous to Increase in the USA

Management Improvement Jobs

Curious Cat Management Improvement Career Connections provides a source of jobs targeted to those interested in this blog. Take a look at the jobs listed now including: Lean Manager at Erlanger in Kentucky; Senior Lean Six Sigma Specialist at Cooper Crouse-Hinds in New York and CEO of Jefferson State Forest Products in California.

At the recent Deming Seminar in Colorado Springs I met the CEO of upstream21, which owns Jefferson State Forest Products: Bryan Redd. He has a great understanding of how to put Deming and lean manufacturing ideas into practice. Having a boss that is knowledgeable and passionate about the management improvement is a huge plus. I think this is a great opportunity.

So if you are interested in looking at new career opportunities look at the jobs posted on the job board and good luck. And if you have a management improvement opening, go ahead an add the opportunity.

Related: Signs You Have a Great Job, or NotDeming CompaniesHiring the Right Employees

Internships Increasing

Hard to find a job, but not an internship

The bullish market for interns is good news for those in college, who find that internships are increasingly required for landing that first job. The summer posts allow students to bolster their resumes, learn more about their field of choice and meet executives who could hire them for full-time positions one day. And they often pay a good wage: on average, $16.33 an hour, or $7,850 over 12 weeks, Luckenbaugh said.

“Students are looking for internships even after their first year,” said Sheila Curran, executive director of Duke University’s career center, noting that 88% of Duke students graduate with at least one internship under their belts. “It’s become expected that you’d have at least one internship during college.”

Universities are also recognizing the increased importance of internships and are working harder to secure spots for their students, said Richard Bottner, founder of Intern Bridge, a college recruiting research and consulting firm. Some colleges are even requiring students to do at least one internship to graduate.

graphic of Deming Scholars internship cycle

The Deming Scholars MBA program at Fordham includes a heavy dose of internships [broken link removed] (“Subject matter is delivered in five integrated learning cycles. Five eight-week sessions of classroom lectures, seminars and study are linked by seven-week internships at participating firms”). Integrating well planned internships can be very valuable to improving learning. By the way if your company would like to host these students you can contact the program to discuss the opportunity.

Curiouscat.com has a web site for locating internships. I would love to get some good management improvement based internships added – there is no charge to add internships. For actual jobs try the Curious Cat Management Improvement job board.

Related: Hiring the Right EmployeesIT Talent Shortage, or Management Failure?Young IT Workers DemandsJoel ManagementThe Joy of Work

Manufacturing Employee Shortage in Utah

Utah scrambling to meet need for technical workers

The state faces challenges in generating necessary interest to fill available manufacturing jobs for what Utah’s governor has called the state’s “Aerospace Hub,” both immediately and in the future, the report said.

The situation continues to worsen, with jobs being created and unemployment remaining low in the state. And as the current work force ages, the supply of skilled workers is diminishing, forcing employers to recruit outside of Utah and sometimes leave Utah altogether, the report said.

The college’s Lean Manufacturing Center was built from an old warehouse with state funds and $30 million from rocket-booster manufacturer Williams International. Williams provides the college with equipment and mentors to train students with practical, real-world applications, said Lloyd McCaffrey, the Lean Center’s director.

Related: Engineering Innovation for Manufacturing and the EconomyApplied Quality Engineering EducationWisconsin ManufacturingTop 10 Manufacturing CountriesHelp Wanted: Lean Manufacturing ExpertsThe Lean MBACurious Cat Management Improvement Job Board

How Downsizing is Handled When Management Respects People

Three Amazing PHP/MySQL/Perl Developers Now Available [broken link removed] – Posting on Craigslist. The url will expire so I included everything but the contact info below (follow the link for contact info).

Yesterday I had to do one of the more difficult things — lay off three of my good friends, all of whom are talented and professional developers.

I’m posting here today in hopes that someone out in the world is looking for some seasoned talent, people who can get things done for you. I will personally recommend all three of these guys, and I’ll detail below each of them. If you are interested, I’m including my phone number. I’ll take your contact information and give it to the person(s) you are interested in, and you can take it from there.

Here goes.

Developer #1
I’ve worked with Developer #1 since 2005. He’s worked for Fortune 500 companies and small startups. His strengths are conceptualizing and implementing complex systems using PHP and MySQL. These systems are not limited to the web, however the web is where most of his work has been for the last few years. During his employment with me, he:
* Designed a complex billing system, complete with audit trails
* Developed a site-wide internationalization system, allowing us to easily translate any phrase on the system to a different language
* Designed and successfully implemented several difficult projects based on half-way decent specifications documents (my fault)

Related: People are Our Most Important AssetBad Management Results in LayoffsHiring the Right PeopleSeverance Plans to Respect PeopleCurious Cat Management Improvement Jobs
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Lean Manufacturing Saving Jobs Again

Lean manufacturing saving jobs

Keiper Automotive has slashed more than $2 million in costs and saved 100 jobs from layoff — all by reducing waste. Bob Cook, plant manager at the Scanlan Street auto parts manufacturer, hosted a lean manufacturing session at the plant yesterday where 10 manufacturers from different sectors learned first-hand how to cut waste, and what an impact it can have.

“This is not about a reduction in the workforce, it is about reducing waste in the system,” Cook said. “There is a lot to be gained . . . and it is really just common sense.” The lean manufacturing session got its start in November at a mayor’s roundtable on advanced manufacturing. When the issue of cutting waste arose, Cook volunteered to lead a session and the London Economic Development Corp. organized it.

“This information is not proprietary. If these people take it back to their plants and expand on it, we all gain,” Cook said.

A number of great points, including:

Related: Manufacturing JobsLean Thinking MisconceptionLean Manufacturing Resources

Creating Jobs

Do Lean Companies Create Fewer Jobs?

No, they create more. If you assume the lean company grows sales at the same rate as some poorly management company then it may well be that the lean company creates fewer jobs. However that is not a valid assumption. Deming provided the reason in his presentations to Japan in the 1950’s with his chain reaction. From page 3 of Out of the Crisis

  • Improve Quality —>
  • Costs decrease because of less rework, fewer mistakes, fewer delays, snags, better use of machine-time and materials —>
  • Productivity Improves —>
  • Capture the market with better quality and lower price —>
  • Stay in Business —>
  • Provide jobs and more jobs

For an example of this process at work see GM, Ford and Toyota. Toyota defines lean (Toyota’s management system is what was called lean manufacturing by Jim Womack and Dan Jones). Toyota continues to add employees while Ford and GM have been shedding jobs.

It is true, for lean (and un-lean) companies alike, productivity is improving (it just improves more at lean companies) which means that fewer people are needed to produce the same amount as we have in the past. We have posted previously about the mistaken belief that jobs are moving overseas.
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Find Good Management Improvement Jobs

Peter Abilla (shmula blog) is hiring a Manager for Process Improvement [the broken link was removed] to work with him at eBay. It is a great opportunity, in my opinion.

Here are some highlights of what he is looking for:

  • Experience implementing Lean and Six Sigma in transactional environments (non-manufacturing).
  • Experience with Value-stream Mapping (current- and future-state), Lean Consumption and Lean Provisioning
  • Experience with Lean beyond just book knowledge — I’m looking for hands-on implementation of Lean.
  • You can explain why variation sucks, with examples — both qualitative and quantitative. How does the DMAIC framework approach variation?
  • You can explain the difference between poke-yoke and mistake-proofing (trick question) and give examples from everyday life of poke-yoke.
  • You can explain and have an intelligent conversation about the above items with people who don’t have backgrounds in Engineering, Lean, or Six Sigma and have the ability to make the above-items relevant and in-context.
  • See the Curious Cat Management Improvement job board for more lean manufacturing, six sigma, quality engineering… jobs.

Manufacturing Jobs

The article, Manufacturing Lost 3.4 Million Jobs Since 1998 [the broken link was removed], indicates “The increased output should lead to job recovery.” I doubt it. While it is true there is a correlation between output and jobs by far the most significant trend is more manufacturing output and fewer manufacturing jobs everywhere in the world. Like so many articles talking about manufacturing job losses in the USA this one could leave many readers thinking that the USA needs to gain back jobs lost to other countries (while in fact the USA has lost a lower percentage of manufacturing jobs than most all countries – including China – based on the latest data I have seen).

Focusing on manufacturing output and jobs and their importance to the economy makes sense. However, I think people need to update the model they use to set expectations of manufacturing job levels. And given a world in which no countries seem able to do gain manufacturing jobs, it seems more reasonable to expect a continuation of decreased jobs and increased output until that worldwide trend changes. If you want to focus on manufacturing jobs in the USA I think the realistic goals are decreasing the reduction in jobs (by supporting what is still by far the world’s dominant manufacturing economy).
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Employee Ownership

H.C. Miller workers to earn ownership [the broken link was removed] by Richard Ryman.

I have always liked the idea of employee ownership. To me this can be a great help in creating a system where employees, owners, customers, suppliers work together. Alone an ESOP does little. But as part of a system of management it is something I think can be beneficial.

Employees of H.C. Miller Co. have learned to look at their company differently. And because they did, on July 31 they will become its owners.

The 120 or so employees of the 118-year-old company will implement an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. An ESOP is a retirement plan in which employees are assigned shares in the company annually. Those shares accumulate in a retirement account.

Employees shouldn’t allow too much of their savings to be tied to the company (see Enron). Of course those ignoring this advice that worked for Microsoft, Walmart… in their early days did quite well. Continue reading