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GH: We want the best of the best

we can get. We utilize the resources externally and take all the internal pro- visions the company allows to make sure people know the sky is the limit in terms of learning. Te other goal is on the compliance end for safety training. Tat’s a big part of what I do, mapping out a schedule to make sure that we do the compliance training on the scheduled timeframes. Some of it is annual or every two or three years, and we also have those situa- tions where you have to do retraining when an individual goes from one department to another and we have a

roadmap for that. MC: What do you mean by roadmap? GH: If a person goes from, say, a

coremaker position to a molder posi- tion, for that molder position we have different training elements required for that job. A lot of the time, they already have the training, so it is more of a

refresher training, if you will. MC: What are the main challenges

in training the staff? GH: Te biggest challenge for

me, as well as, I think, for any other foundry, is the time variable—trying to work training in without disrupt- ing production. You just have to slot in those 15- and 30-minute segments when you can. When you are work- ing with 32 different departments, counting all three shifts plant wide, it can be a challenge to get all this work in. It really takes a lot of trial and error to get something worked out to where you can get these training sessions in. Our supervisors and managers give me great support when it comes to training. Tat’s what our success is

built upon. MC: You recently started a using an

online training platform from the AFS Institute. How did you incorporate that

into your training program? GH: Yes we started the e-Learning

modules from AFS three or four months ago. Like any other training, I began with an assessment to see what value it would bring to whom. For example, the Introduction to Cast Iron Melting module, I went through it on my own and assessed who it was going to benefit. I went in and viewed the content to see how it was organized, so

fer the knowledge consistently with

the e-learning platform. MC: Who has been able to use the

modules so far? GH: I have 18 different associates

The first day of training includes an introduction to Charlotte Pipe and an overview of the importance of each job in the plant.

I was the guinea pig. Once I built that, I developed an introduction to use our elearning platform, showing how to navigate it. Tey see that it is so user- friendly and the benefit in spending those 15 to 30 minute segments to complete those modules. Part of the introduction is letting

them know they may get started and then get called away but they can go back and restart where they left off. Te way the platform is designed is very user friendly. Tey are able to print off the PDF of the actual mod- ule to keep and refer back to. I think that is something that is important. One thing I see as a huge benefit

is that we have struggled in the past with knowledge transfer. When you try to transfer that knowledge, you are depending on the individual who has been doing it for “X” amount of years and they are explaining it their way and another person might explain it differently. We can trans-


More information about the AFS Institute e-Learning modules is available at www. The e-Learning modules are offered individually or through a subscription program available to AFS Corporate Members that gives access to all modules for all employees at the plant. Currently, 27 modules, which range from 15-30 minutes, are available, with more added monthly. The topics now available cover cast iron, aluminum, copper, steel, green sand and casting defect analysis. “The Institute’s e-learning teaches valuable job skills using interactive activi- ties and simulations,” said Shelly Dutler, AFS Director of Education. “This hands-on approach, regardless of the training method, is fundamental to our educational philosophy at the Institute.” Contact Neal Bender, AFS business development specialist, at 847-824-0181, to learn more about signing up for the e-Learning subscription program.

February 2017 MODERN CASTING | 37

going through the modules right now. Tey have probably completed around 60 modules all together. Each associate has done two or three. Again, as part of the assessment, I took one of the iron control technician’s job and went through the entire list, to see which module would apply to that particular job. Tis helped me develop a spread- sheet as to which job title and which

module would apply. MC: What advice would you like to

share with other people in the indus- try who are in charge of their plant’s

employee training? GH: Other than basic learning

development skills, you need to have a good rapport with management and supervisors who you will be communicating directly to. You need to know the processes in the facility. It is beneficial to know the basic adult learning principles and be well versed in the various delivery meth- ods, whether it is lecture, posters, or a program like e-Learning. I can’t say enouh for the support

and resources the company Charlotte Pipe has given, which allow me to get the job done. You have to have not just a verbal buy-in but a tangible buy-in. So when the company provides the resources without cutting corners or minimizing the budget, you have the opportunity to do the job well.

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