The best practitioners in any field are those people who remain lifelong learners. The fields of graphite design and graphite engineering are no different. We at Semco believe in the value of training for our long-term employees as well as for our newer hires. In an ongoing attempt to elevate the skill set and knowledge base of our workforce and team members, Semco Carbon has engaged the services of the Lorain County JVS (Joint Vocational School) to present weekly on-site classroom training.
With the current record low unemployment rate we are experiencing comes recruitment challenges. To meet the increasing demands of our industry and of our growing customer base, we have expanded our search to locate new employees from non-machining backgrounds. Semco always looks for smart people willing to work hard and to be part of a team -- these qualities are essential in our workforce. We have found, though, that some of our recent hires, as excellent as they are in other areas, are new to blueprint reading. Many are also new to the use of measuring instruments and inspection tools like micrometers and calipers, which are used in precision machining operations. Our shop is known for the excellence of our graphite engineering and machining; reading blueprints of client jobs and carefully measuring and inspecting the graphite components that we machine are all indispensable skills on our shop floor. To assist our new hires in reaching the level of expertise they need to produce excellent work for our clients, we felt that weekly on-site professional classroom instruction was important. These courses not only help our new hires develop a useful set of skills, but they also serve as a refresher to reinforce the skills of our existing machinists and operators, who also undertake this coursework.
The initial coursework for employees will last around four months. An example of what our employee will focus on during this training program is metrology. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. Our employees explore various units of measure and learn to link measurements made in practice to reference standards. As part of this training, employees receive hands-on instruction with the common quality assurance measurement tools such as micrometers, calipers, height gages, and surface plate methodology.
The classwork on blueprint reading will expose our new hires to many of the concepts used in precision machining. These concepts include toleranceing methods and interpretation, perpendicularity, parallelism, concentricity, and surface finishes. Our hands-on metrology work will assist our employees in proper measurement techniques used in quality assurance.
Requiring our employees to learn new skills and brush up on old ones requires the company to, of course, devote employee time that could be spent on the shop floor to time spent in the classroom. We feel that this is time well spent. Semco management’s decision to work with a vocational training organization, we feel, demonstrates our company’s long-term outlook and dedication to providing the best experience for our clients. Graphite design and machining is highly-specialized work that requires skill and experience. When we require employees to complete coursework on everything from mathematics to advanced blueprint reading, we are making an investment whose dividends will come in the form of an exceptional customer satisfaction down the road.