Member Manufacturers

New member spotlight: Eddie Kane Steel

A steady spike in business has hit Eddie Kane Steel over the last couple of years. Plant manager Matt Knauff says 2024 is expected to be the best yet for the Masury company.

With just over 60 employees, the plant needs to add more staff as it continues to grow.

“We’re working on adding a third shift since we have an expansion coming,” Knauff said.

Positions that need to be filled include burn table, threading and saw operators, welders, galvanizing line, and general labor. Most employees work four, 10-hour shifts and have Friday through Sunday off.

Branching out, building up customers

Eddie Kane’s local plant is among seven locations coast-to-coast that serve thousands of national customers. The distributor of flat plate steel also makes parts for trampolines, forklifts and dumpsters.

“We provide probably the most quality counterweights you can buy. We do about 2.5 million pounds per month of burned weight, 150 tons or more of flat plate steel and between 150 to 200 steel cages,” Knauff said.

He noted that preparations are underway for the growth that’s expected this year.

“We put $2.5 million into the building. We’re redoing offices, some outside work and other various renovations.”

RB Steel, also in Masury, is Eddie Kane’s woman-owned branch, which is looking to expand. It specializes in anchor bolt cages for the construction industry, as well as telephone poles and power towers.

Connecting to MVMC

Knauff had a personal link to MVMC before joining the organization.

“I worked with Alex Hertzer when he was at ClarkDietrich for a while. Eddie Kane has been looking at ways to help bring people in and get more involved in the community. I knew Alex went to MVMC, so I gave him a call.”

What also attracted him to MVMC were the networking and best practice sharing opportunities.

“We like to help a lot of people who are trying to get their lives on track, so we’re interested in programs like WorkAdvance,” he said.

Eddie Kane supports diversity in the workplace, prioritizes hiring veterans and encourages women to apply for jobs.

“We have female welders. We’ll help and train anyone who is willing to try, and we’ll even help people get jobs somewhere else if they aren’t a good fit here.”

Knauff says the company is implementing automated machines in 2024 to alleviate some of the physical labor for the manual grinders.

“It’s a difficult job, but this will make it easier for anyone to be able to do. It allows us to move employees around where gaps need to be filled.”

Although satisfying customers is top of mind, he says it’s just as important to keep employees safe, invest in them and be as supportive as possible.

Media Coverage

MVMC in the News (Mar)

Repopulation Roundtable: Who, Why and How? (Business Journal)

Roundtable Preview: Valley Repopulation Demands Group Effort (Business Journal)

Career center receives $2.5M from state for commercial equipment (Tribune Chronicle) 

Students gear up for a future in tech during MCCTC career fair (The Vindicator)

TCTC receiving $2.5M to prepare students for top Ohio jobs (WFMJ TV)

Valley Schools Get $5.7M for Career Technical Programs (Business Journal)

MVMC Begins New Era of Leadership (Business Journal)

3 Minutes With: MVMC Begins Leadership Transition (Business Journal)

Career Exploration Mobile Unit Ready to Roll in Columbiana County (Business Journal)

Meet Our Repopulation Roundtable Panelists (Business Journal)

Why is Repopulation Vital to the Future of Our Region (Business Journal)

Manufacturing event held at Warren school (Mahoning Matters)

Member Manufacturers

Fireline leverages YBI Industry 4.0 funds for mixer control system

Fireline, Inc. in Youngstown realized it needed a better system to control mixers at the plant. The company was able to come up with a solution through Industry 4.0 concepts, assistance from the Youngstown Business Incubator and the organization MAGNET.

Fireline produces a wide range of slip-cast refractory ceramic shapes used to make parts in the aerospace industry. Manually controlled mixers are required in the process. Like many manufacturers, the company is dealing with being short-staffed, which can leave room for error due to employees taking on multiple tasks.

Automation to the rescue

Mark Peters is the director of engineering and has been with the company for more than 20 years. He says when a mixer is on high speed for too long and overheats, it’s a waste of material, time and costs a lot of money for repairs. That’s why Fireline wanted to develop a more automated system.

“We got an email notification from YBI about the funding for Industry 4.0 pilot projects and jumped on the opportunity,” Peters said.

Fireline then partnered with MAGNET and its engineers for about a year to develop a Wi-Fi connected mixer control system. It can be set on a certain recipe, run unattended and default to a slow speed when it would time out.

“MAGNET made it easy. Their engineers asked really good questions. We weren’t locked into specific equipment or systems. We figured out what was best for us.”

Fireline wanted to be able to monitor the mixing system, so specific data points are communicated to a central dashboard for the team to view.

“We spent a lot of time with this, gave them a mix tank for testing, and they came up with this system. It allows us to be proactive rather than reactive,” he said.

Ready for a trial run

The completed system was delivered to the company in November 2023. It’s being stored until it can be installed. Peters says other plant priorities have caused delays, but he’s hoping to start the trial run in the second quarter of 2024.

“We also need get people comfortable with the system before it’s implemented. Change can be hard, and there are specific ways this needs to run for monitoring.”

It will take about six months to determine its effectiveness. Now that Fireline knows the materials and design elements involved, the company plans to use the system on other mixers.

“Moving forward, this makes implementation easier. We now have the platform to eventually integrate other equipment,” Peters said. “MAGNET gave us a relative shortcut to getting it done. We would’ve used more resources and time doing the project on our own.”

Benefits of implementing IIoT

He noted the company has also been using IIoT to monitor power and air compressors. Industry 4.0 is something he recommends to manufacturers that need to streamline production, save time and money.

“Technology pricing is down, and capabilities have increased. There are challenges, but the services MAGNET and YBI provide make it worthwhile. This is a time investment, but companies should take advantage. The money won’t be there forever.”

Peters says the total cost of the project was $35,000, but Fireline only paid $15,000 out-of-pocket. MAGNET also helped the company obtain some extra money through the Ohio Defense Community Grant – as it’s part of the defense supply chain.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. But when you look at an IIoT system like ours, this solves all the issues. The payback is immediate on something like this.”

YBI funding for Industry 4.0 pilot projects runs through 2024. Contact Daniel Longo or Stephanie Gaffney to begin an assessment or for more information.

Media Coverage

MVMC in the News (Feb)

Borza Accepts Leadership Role at Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (Business Journal)

MVMC director moving to state manufacturing group (Vindicator)

MVMC director moving to state manufacturing group (Tribune Chronicle)

Roemer Industries Carries Momentum Into 2024 (Business Journal)

Lawrence, Mercer Join in New Workforce Coalition (Business Journal)

MVMC Director accepts role with the state (WFMJ TV)

Daily Buzz: Salem Regional Expands; MVMC Leader Steps into Statewide Role (Business Journal)

Borza Accepts Leadership Role; Hertzer Promoted (The Review Newspapers)

Mahoning Valley manufacturing official named to state role (Mahoning Matters)

Manufacturers Coalition Adds Accountant to Staff (Business Journal)

MVMC Adds Staff (Vindicator)

MVMC Adds Staff (Tribune Chronicle)

Lawrence Mercer Manufacturers Coalition Awarded $236K (Business Journal)

Lawrence Mercer Manufacturers Coalition receives grant (Sharon Herald)

Mahoning County Career and Technical Center holds Kids Career Fair (Mahoning Matters)

Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: Schwebel Baking Company

Business started in 1906 by delivering bread door-to-door to 40 homes in Youngstown. Now, more than a century later, Schwebel Baking Company produces almost a quarter of a million packages of bread and buns every day.

Schwebel’s has bakeries on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown and in Hebron, Ohio. There are 17 distribution centers across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. From there, trucks take products to customers around the region.

Great Opportunities

The company makes a variety of breads and buns and has its sights set on future growth.

“We have a great legacy and are continuing that path with excellent momentum and improvements in operational processes, equipment, lean manufacturing, and people initiatives such as relaunching our mission, values, and a deliberate people strategy,” said Melinda Rombold, Director of Human Resources. “Schwebel’s delivers nourishing products to your table with it’s over 700 employees.”

However, like many other manufacturers, the company continues to grapple with an evolving workforce.

“Society is changing, workforce is changing, everything is changing,” she said. “We have to know and acknowledge that and make sure we’re attracting and keeping good employees.” 

Strengthening the workforce through MVMC

Those are reasons why Rombold believes being part of MVMC is important to the company.

“Organizations like this can help when we need additional, creative resources and partnerships to do things we need to do.”

The Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber first put her in contact with MVMC, and after that, Schwebel’s became a member.

“Partnering with an organization like MVMC can be a great benefit. There are like-minded individuals and community partnerships. It’s good for the area, employees and companies at the same time,” Rombold said.

Schwebel’s is currently looking to hire and is excited about the WorkAdvance program to help fill open positions.

“Since the end of the pandemic, we have been very busy and working to stabilize operations and the workforce. Plus, summer is our busy bun season. When we don’t have enough staff, we have people working overtime and/or six to seven days a week,” she said.

Rombold also explained that our employees’ input on production improvements and culture is key, so a survey was recently conducted to gain production employee insights.

“As the workforce evolves, so must we. We’re excited to be part of MVMC because it’s one of the groups already doing that.”

Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: Pantheon Innovative Builders

If there’s an example of how manufacturing and construction can blend, look no further than Pantheon Innovative Builders. The company’s plan for 3D printed housing could revolutionize the industry.

Pantheon Innovative Builders is new to the area and making big moves to change housing options in the Mahoning Valley and across the country. The concepts are there, and the company is getting close to turning their hopes into reality.

“We need to design a pathway to meet workers where they are. We’ve done some work in Columbus and New Mexico. We’re begging to do something here, but we have to close that gap,” said Ryan Kelly, owner, Pantheon Innovative Builders.

Kelly points out that with the U.S. housing crisis, it’s never been more important to build affordable, secure living spaces.

“In Ohio alone, we’d need 15,000 housing units built every year for the next 10 years in order to keep up,” he said.

Bridging the gap through MVMC
Kelly believes construction can benefit from taking a manufacturing approach. Most recently, he noted the supply chain battle, which affects efficiency across the board. His effort to bridge the gap between the two industries was a direct push to join MVMC.

“Partnership is important. We’re better together, and that’s our philosophy. We want to work and show our added value. We know manufacturing is growing, so we want to learn what we can,” Kelly said.

Prior to becoming a member, he heard about MVMC regularly through various community connections, news articles and social media.

“I love the work MVMC does and the way the organization approaches workforce issues. It’s not just about throwing money at something. There’s an understanding of what’s happening out there, and things are getting done,” Kelly said.

Partnerships make things happen
If any business understands how partnerships help get things done, it’s Pantheon. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without them.

Pantheon is partners with the Ohio State University Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) and COBOD – the world leader in 3D construction printing. Pantheon had the printer delivered to CDME in January 2023. This allows for research and testing of the technology.

“Organizations like CDME and COBOD continue to have impact on the additive manufacturing/3D printing industry worldwide. This helps us create a model to reimagine, retrain and recruit the future workforce,” Kelly said.

He says despite some challenges, 3D printed construction also has advantages like time efficiency, safety and less impact on the environment.

Kelly also believes in the partnership with America Makes to advance research and development of 3D printed home construction.

“America Makes deals with billions of dollars in federal funding. It’s going to bring manufacturing back here, and not enough people know about it. We have what’s needed to come back as an area built on manufacturing. We just need to utilize these things,” he said.

Evolving the next generation
Reaching young people is another priority for Pantheon. The company’s partner, non-profit organization, Evolve Innovation Center, is led by Bryant Youngblood, the chief workforce and education officer. He’s been in education for years before working for Pantheon and Evolve.

Part of Evolve’s mission is conducting workshops and training students with 3D printing curriculum. The YMCA in downtown Youngstown is one of the places that benefits from this program. Groups of students took part in an 11-week course over the summer.

Youngblood wants to reach as many kids as possible – especially inner-city youth that might not otherwise have the opportunity.

“We’ve had great participation. We use the Tinkercad program for 3D printing designs in the class, which is an AutoCAD system for beginners,” Youngblood said.

There are also more advanced programs available. High school students can even go on to earn credentials recognized by the Ohio Department of Education through Evolve.

“Many of these kids have the capabilities but don’t always have the best support system,” Kelly said. CAD is the future. It’s almost like the typing class of the past. No matter what field you go into, technology is going to be the future.”

The summer classes at the YMCA were packed, and the hope is to continue the program and expand the number of sessions.

“We’re trying to change the script for some kids that will likely have a tougher time than others getting into the industry. Even if they don’t go into construction, it feeds a greater scope because they can go do other things with their skills,” Kelly added.

The end goal is to expose kids to all opportunities which will help develop the future workforce.

Hopes for local 3D housing
As for Pantheon’s goals, the company has a “first order of business” for 3D housing plans in the area.

“We want to build mission-based, homeless housing, places for pregnant mothers and long-term homeownership. The interest is there, we just need to generate funding and partners to make it happen,” Kelly said.

Youngblood says the interest outside the Mahoning Valley is a little more inviting, but he remains hopeful more people will come around to accept the idea.

“We feel that being part of MVMC, we can introduce people to this and expedite our effort.” 

Faces of Manufacturing

Machining apprenticeship helps local woman advance her manufacturing career

It’s safe to say that manufacturing and the trades have been a part of Amelia Roberts’ life since she can remember. Growing up, her family demonstrated the importance of hard work.  

“My family is nothing but construction workers, truck drivers and welders, but I always wanted to be in manufacturing in some way,” Amelia said.

She’s married with a three-year-old and lives in Lisbon next to her parents who own a farm and run a trucking company. Being busy and working with her hands is familiar territory.

“I know hard work. I put everything into what I do. I’m used to fast-paced learning, and I still try to absorb everything I can,” she said.

“Brazing” career paths

During high school, Amelia enrolled at Columbiana County Career and Technical Center for welding. After graduation, she started working for Compco as a production welder and fabricator.

Compco acquired Quaker Manufacturing in Salem in 2017 – which is now CQL Manufacturing. That’s where Amelia has been working for the last five years.

She’s been successful with welding but wanted to switch things up and train to be a die maintenance technician (DMT). That led her to the registered apprenticeship program for machining and taking classes at CCCTC.

“Machining has everything I want to learn – like dealing with different types of metals and tools, working on presses, being able to diagnose issues and how to fix those issues,” Amelia said. “It’s a lot of repair work and running machines like the surface grinder, lathe, mill, hand tools and other conventional tools.”

Tool and die makers construct precision tools or metal forms, called dies, that are used to cut, shape and form metal and other materials. They produce devices that hold metal while it’s bored, stamped or drilled.

“If something breaks down, or there’s a problem with the steel, you’d have to fix it by using whatever the best process would be. It’s pretty much like a mechanic, but instead of cars, I work on dies,” she said.

Amelia enjoys the variety of the job and the fact she’s always learning new skills.

“It makes your brain work a little more. I have fantastic mentors. They’re smart, and they’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, so they help me out quite a bit,” she said.

Apprenticeship expectations

She was the only new apprentice in the fall of 2023.

“I was surprised there was no one else, but it also means more one-on-one time with the instructor,” Amelia said.

The apprenticeship takes two years to complete. The classes at CCCTC are two days a week for three hours. Amelia was able to start working in tool and die over the summer and is grateful for the little bit of experience with machines before moving into the program.

MVMC offers a registered apprenticeship in machining for its members. There is an upfront cost, but most of the training is eligible for reimbursement by the state. Compco has been able to fill talent gaps for the last few years by participating. It’s only offered to employees in good standing who are willing to commit to the process.

For Amelia, that isn’t a problem. She’s a dedicated, loyal employee.

“I’ve been with the same company since high school. I don’t plan on going anywhere. The atmosphere is good, the people are good, and everyone seems to get along here,” she said.

Confidence, courage and conquering goals

As a woman in manufacturing, she says CQL has a good work culture and feels supported. Amelia is also confident in her abilities. She encourages other women not to feel intimidated by this kind of work.

“You’ve got to know the basics, but there are people to help you out with everything,” she said.

Her average day starts at 5 a.m. working on dies. If a press call comes through, she immediately attends to that.

“Production is the most important, so we stop what we’re doing to figure out what’s going on with the press. Sometimes it’s a changeover,” Amelia said.  

There are some awkward aspects of the job, too.

“I literally had to lie down on a die inside a press for a repair. You just never know what the day will bring, but we’re constantly moving and doing something different,” she said.

No matter what, she keeps the end goal in mind.

“I’ll learn more skills, get a NIMS certificate, and I want to be a pro at this kind of stuff. I want to know exactly what to do when problems arise. I also want to help future apprentices, too,” she said.

Amelia has long-term goals as well.

“I’d love to be an engineer – whether it’s welding or another type of engineer in manufacturing,” she said.

She’s also grateful for her family’s support on her career journey.

“Family is big for me, and they’re loving what I’m doing.”

For more information on MVMC’s registered apprenticeship program, contact Alex Hertzer.

Faces of Manufacturing Uncategorized

WorkAdvance helps Choffin graduate “cook up” new career path

Even though Savana Cline is fresh out of high school with a lot of ropes to learn, her reputation shines bright at Trivium Packaging in Youngstown. Her demeanor seems quiet and shy, but she’s passionate and hard-working.  

Savana and a few others in her class from Choffin Career and Technical Center in Youngstown participated in a three-week high school WorkAdvance bootcamp in spring of 2023. After graduating, she was hired in June as a general laborer at Trivium.

Taking a chance on WorkAdvance

Savana was onboard after MVMC and a Trivium representative came to her class to do a presentation about WorkAdvance. However, manufacturing wasn’t always at the forefront of her mind.

“I was going to Choffin for culinary, and I really liked that,” she said.

Out of curiosity, she signed up for the bootcamp.

“We had classes at Eastern Gateway Community College and eventually went to Trivium for a tour,” she said.

The classes consist of learning math skills and basics about manufacturing. The National Center for Urban Solutions in Youngstown offered career readiness training to help with communication, building a resume, the interview process and career coaching.

At the plant, the noise shocked Savana at first, but she quickly acclimated. She even encouraged her doubtful classmates to stick things out and keep trying.

“They showed us the line machines in the beginning, so it was a little overwhelming. There was a lot going on,” she said.

She felt more at ease after learning other positions were available that she preferred. Trivium is also nothing new to her. Savana’s mom, Christine, has been at the company for more than a year as a quality assurance technician.

She says the WorkAdvance bootcamp experience was rewarding, and the process was smooth.

“Everything was easygoing, and the staff was helpful. They would even get us food and snacks. We got individual help, and I have everyone’s number to call anytime,” she said.

At the ceremony for completing the bootcamp, she signed an agreement to work at Trivium.

“I was excited and a little nervous because it was new, and I didn’t really know anyone. I only got to see a small part of the plant, but I was interested in everything,” she said.

Bring on the boxes

Savana’s job is packing boxes of cans that get shipped to customers in the U.S. and Brazil. At the start of her shift, she checks two buildings for packing assignments. Then, it’s off to the races to get boxes ready for shipping.

“I don’t know the exact number of boxes I can do in a day, but I know I can get through a lot,” she said.

Bill Church is Savana’s manager. He says every customer dictates what’s needed for packing, and she gets the information from the computer.

“It shows the name of the product, the details for the order and how to pack it,” Savana said.

Once everything is boxed, a forklift either takes it to storage or to a truck, if it’s available.

High praises and hard work

Trust and honesty are two things that are notably apparent in Bill and Savana’s working relationship.

“She doesn’t need managed. She hit the ground running. When she started, I showed her what to do, and the next thing I knew, she was bouncing back and forth packing boxes. She was also training new people within days,” Bill said.

He says the job is helping Savana with communication skills and getting her out of her comfort zone. Most importantly, she comes in and gets the work done.

“Some kids don’t have a foundation as good as Savana’s. She sets the bar high. There’s nothing she won’t be able to do if she puts her mind to it,” Bill said.

Right now, she’s working dayshift – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The days off alternate, so in a two-week period, she works just seven days. General laborers start out around $16 an hour at Trivium. Then, raises are given for certain benchmarks and promotions.

Financial freedom and a bright future

Savana isn’t dismissing the idea of moving up at the company.

“I’m still getting my feet wet, but I would eventually think about moving to a line job,” she said.

Along with Trivium’s good benefits package, she’s most excited about what this job means for her financial future.

“First, there’s no college debt. I feel like I will retire far better off than my parents will. I am going to be well-equipped and prepared if something does happen in the future. All I’m doing right now is saving money,” Savanna said.

A couple of her goals include owning a house and a truck someday.

Savana had three different food-related jobs before working at Trivium. In addition to her cooking skills, she also has experience with construction, fixing cars and tree cutting.

“That was because of my dad. I would do side jobs with him. I wanted to learn that stuff,” she said.

Art, crocheting, woodworking and embroidery are also some of her hobbies. She also stays busy keeping up with her five siblings.

Savana is proud to spread the word about manufacturing jobs – even if it’s just planting a seed in someone’s mind.

“I talked to a friend who was going to Choffin for welding, but he decided to go to college for now. I also might get to speak to other students who are interested in these jobs,” she said.

Her best advice for those starting out is simple.

“Just give it time. If you think a job is not for you, look at other options. If you’re not a good fit in one place, you can always try somewhere else.”

Member Manufacturers

New member spotlight: Mullen Insurance Solutions LLC

Organizations looking out for the best interests of the Mahoning Valley workforce are attractive to Mullen Insurance Solutions in Boardman. For owner, Nate Mullen, Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition fits that category, and becoming a member makes sense.

“We’re just trying to get our name out there a little more,” he said.

Connecting with MVMC

Mullen, a health insurance broker, started the company in 2021 but has been in the industry for 13 years. He already had established relationships with some MVMC members before joining the coalition.

The other meaningful connection was through one of his account managers, Heather Willison. She previously worked with MVMC assistant director Gina Pastella.

Mullen worked with his other two account managers, Mary Ann Christie and Becky Miller, before starting his company. All three say they’re good at something different, which helps their process run smoothly.

Mullen always dreamed of having his own business, but it came true sooner than expected.

“I didn’t think this would happen until my late 40s or 50s, but when my old employer sold to a large agency, I decided it was time to move on,” he said.

Close-knit team

To say Mullen clicks with his employees is an understatement. He swells with pride and emotion talking about the company environment.

“We just have the most incredible team of people here,” he said.

Mullen Insurance currently handles health insurance plans for about 60 groups in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties. It ranges from one-person businesses up to groups of more than 200 employees.

“The unique thing about our business is the way we work with companies. We only grow when they grow. It’s not about premiums. As the workforce grows, that’s how we see growth,” Mullen said.

Standing out from the competition

He says the challenging part is trying to be different. In health insurance, the pricing is all the same.

“There is no ‘better deal’. If a broker tells you that, they’re lying. So, our way of being different is our service model and through the technology we use for enrollment platforms,” he said.

That is important to larger employers and multi-location businesses because work for HR becomes easier.

Mullen Insurance is affiliated with the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber. Being part of the MVMC is just another opportunity to be more engrained in the Mahoning Valley.

“We feel our service method is different than larger companies, and customers get a more personal experience using our business,” Mullen said.

Faces of Manufacturing

New member spotlight: International Steel & Counterweights

Community outreach and giving second chances are two big reasons why International Steel & Counterweights joined Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition. The Youngstown company continues to battle a revolving door of employees – a familiar story in the manufacturing world.

International Steel & Counterweights has been at the North West Avenue location since its founding about 14 years ago. The company has grown to around 120 employees – fully occupying an historic and century-old industrial complex.

ISC is owned by AMG Resources Corporation, of Pittsburgh. The company is primarily a recycled metals – with ISC being the only manufacturing facility it has.

“While we are a global organization, we’re a different piece of the puzzle for them, turning metal products into finished goods,” said Larry Wiley, operations manager at International Steel & Counterweights.

Where counterweights are used

ISC makes counterweights for applications from around the world.

“Ballast and counterweights are used in every conceivable application where something needs to be pushed, pulled, lifted or anchored,” Wiley said.

The president of ISC has been in the counterweight business for more than 45 years. He started off renting a small part of the current location, but as the company grew, he ended up taking over the whole building.

ISC primarily serves customers in the counterweight industry, but the company also serves the market as a machine shop, metal service center and full-service scrap yard. ISC prides itself on being as environmentally friendly as possible.

“One of the best things about steel is that it’s the most recyclable product in the world. Nothing is wasted. We are fortunate that we have developed customers that can use steel in its every form. We have a home for every part of steel, from the beginning of its life to the end of its life, where ultimately, it’s remelted and starts life again,” Wiley said.

“In a nutshell, we’re a very large production and fabrication shop,” Wiley said.

Customers are spread throughout the United States, North America and even some overseas.

“Our business model allows us to bring savings and value to just about every corner of the world,” Wiley said.

Kristin Wheatley, the senior HR business partner at ISC, says the company is always getting creative meeting customer demands and creating products to offer customers.

“There isn’t one format for anything here. This makes our work interesting and gives us room to keep developing new offerings to the market,” Wheatley said.

The MVMC impact

As far as building a workforce, ISC wants to help people who are restarting their lives and finding a new career. The company attended the MVMC-hosted Ohio to Work impact breakfast in January, and management was on board from there.

“When we heard about WorkAdvance, that was it for us. The fundamentals are being taught in those bootcamps. That’s our biggest struggle. Candidates need to know things like basic math skills and being comfortable in a manufacturing facility,” Wheatley said.

She stresses the company needs machine operators, but the challenge is getting employees to show up every day and knowing how to behave in the workplace.

“For instance, not having someone get mad and complain because we told them to put their phone away. It’s a safety issue, and the person is also not working,” Wheatley said.

ISC needs people from all experience levels that are willing to learn, develop and grow with the company.

“Make the commitment before day one. If someone shows up on the most basic level, we will notice that. We will move people to a better job with more opportunity as rapidly as possible, but they have to make that commitment,” Wiley said.

Forward-thinking mindset

Patience is another piece of advice for job seekers.

“You’ll be in a busy, fast-paced facility. Give it time to feel comfortable and progress. People get intimidated and give up. We’ll train on every level,” Wheatley said.

The company is also putting in some advanced manufacturing and automation tools at the plant, but they’re not replacing jobs. Workers are still needed to set up and run all facets of production and manufacturing. The goal is to help cut down on physical labor and speed up the time getting products to market.

Wheatley says the days of college being the only option for a good career are ending.

“It’s about changing the mindset. Buildings are going up. Companies are opening. We just need the workers to come in,” she said.

She added many supervisors at the plant had entry-level positions before working their way up. The president of the company even started out sweeping floors. Management is eager to see how being part of MVMC will help ISC’s workforce.

“It’s an adventure for us, and we’re going to learn as much as we can in this beneficial partnership,” Wiley said.