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Training Case Study With Charlotte Pipe

The iron casting facility’s training manager shared with Modern Casting his strategies for building a knowledgeable workforce. SHANNON WETZEL, MANAGING EDITOR


ike many metalcasting facilities, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co., (Char- lotte, North Carolina)

must balance associate training with production schedules, different shifts, and varying skill levels. Glenn Huneycutt, division training manager, oversees staff development of the metalcasting facility, and directs the knowledge transfer for new staff and seasoned employees. Charlotte Pipe makes iron pipe and

commercial castings. It employs 460 who work across three shifts. Char- lotte Pipe earned the AFS Safe Year award—its second—in 2016 for going a consecutive 365 days without a lost- time accident. Modern Casting spoke with

Huneycutt about the goals and chal- lenges of the training program at

Charlotte Pipe. MC: Glenn, take us through the

training process of a new hire. GH: For new hires, we block out

a full day which includes an introduc- tion to Charlotte Pipe, who we are, our history, the type of products we make, and how they are used in the industry. We also try to bring to the forefront how important each job is in the foundry as well as how important each worker is to the company. In that first day, we take care of

the HR paperwork and go through and make sure they understand the company handbook. Ten we get into the safety aspect. We divide it into two parts. Part 1 covers personal protective equipment (PPE), machine guarding,

36 | MODERN CASTING February 2017

walking/working surfaces, fire extin- guishers, exit routes, and evacuations. We take a walk through the plant, we show them the areas they will be assigned to and after lunch we dive into the lockout/tagout program which is about an hour and a half. Tis topic is one that will be consistently used by workers, and we want to make sure they understand it is for their protection. Toward the end, we wrap up with

environmental information. Once we finish with that, we bring in the supervisor the new associate will be assigned to, and he spends 20 minutes of introduction about what time to come in and where to be the next day. Ten they spend the last 15 minutes observing what they are going to be challenged to learn and expected to do. So they know what they can expect the next day. On the second day, I meet the new associates and make sure they get to their assigned places and generally just talk with them for a few minutes to see if they have any questions.

MC: What about after those first

couple of days? GH: At around the 30-day mark,

we have the new hires conduct hazard communication training and at the 90-day mark, we start doing vehicle training of industrial trucks. As far as on the job training, we appoint seasoned workers within the given departments who are their tutor to learn the skills of that job from day 1 and they are pretty well connected to

them for the first 30 days. MC: Do you have different proce-

dures for office staff? GH: Tat first day new hourly

workers in the office area, we go over our history, products, and HR func- tions and then give a short tour of the plant. After 30 days, we will assign them a schedule to visit the different departments in the foundry and spend 30 minutes to observe and talk with the supervisor to build rapport and

learn the basics of those areas. MC: What are Charlotte Pipe’s

strategies for ongoing training? GH: We have some extended

training we offer to our associates that want to participate in further- ing their education or skill levels. We work with area colleges, and we offer 100% reimbursement on tuition. Tey can do online classes. In some departments or positions, like a CNC machinist, we have a small pathway outline for them where they will attend a college program and go

Safety compliance is an important part of Charlotte Pipe’s training.

through CNC level 1 certification. MC: What are the goals of training

at Charlotte Pipe?

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