Wyoming Machine’s Outlook on Hiring Keeps Its Business Humming!

April 21, 2017
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By Traci Tapani, Co-president, Wyoming Machine

I look for dependable people of high character — we can teach the rest. As co-president with my sister, Lori, of Wyoming Machine, I know how important it is to have the right people on the right job. Our company is a precision metal fabrication company located in Stacy, MN, a town of only 1,400 people. Which might restrict our labor pool — if we followed traditional algorithms and guidelines.

We don’t. We look for people, not for resumes, so we have avoided the pain of labor shortages and enjoy the benefits of highly skilled, loyal, contented employees.

If you are in manufacturing, you know that labor shortages can cost your company but, despite our rural location and the skill our work requires, Wyoming Machine hasn’t had a problem. One reason is that we​ hire women​ for what some might view as “men’s work.” Of course, we’re women leading a machine company so eliminating gender bias isn’t a stretch for us.

That helps but there’s more to the story. We also reach out to inspire young people to view  manufacturing as the exciting career opportunity that it is. We sent ​Amber Carlson to reach out to White Bear Lake, Minn., Public Schools​. Why Carlson? Because she’s a young woman who is passionate about manufacturing, has worked her way up through the ranks, and isn’t all about math. She represents something else that Wyoming Machine promotes: developing talent from within.

We look for people, not for resumes, so we have avoided the pain of labor shortages and enjoy the benefits of highly skilled, loyal, contented employees.

But we also go outside — way outside! — such as ​hiring a homeless man, a man previously supporting himself and his family only to experience financial hardship after a layoff during the down economy.​ We let him prove himself on the job, which he did, then promoted him. Now a full-time production worker with one of his once-homeless sons in college, Robert Bjoraker is proof that valuing people and their contributions is good for business as well as good for the community.

“You can make a difference here. People see your work and appreciate it. You’re not just a number,” Bjoraker says. “Everybody is important. Each of us has our own individual skill sets and they all mesh well.” That meshing of people, that high value we place on people makes all the difference.

Take the opportunity to hear more on June 21 at the Ready To Work Business Collaborative convening, hosted in Minneapolis by U.S. Bank. Amber Carlson from Wyoming Machine will be one of the panelists and she is eager to tell you about the advantages of looking for people and skills, not for keywords in resumes.

The lineup of experts — employers to educators — will be energetic and enlightening. You’ll learn about overcoming the challenges of the growing #skillsgap, best practices in recruiting that don’t shut out the long term unemployed, and hear how to appeal to employees from Millennials to Boomers in the #workforce today. Please save the date!