Tips on hiring machinist/mechanic/welder/electical guy
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  1. #1
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    Default Tips on hiring machinist/mechanic/welder/electical guy

    We are in the business of helping OEM's develop light battery powered electric vehicles, e-bikes, lawn tractors, golf carts etc. Our core products are the motor controllers which are basically battery powered VFDs but we also design, develop and manufacture brushless DC motors. I have involved in the business since its inception 10 years ago, we've grown in fits and starts, at the moment we have about 25 employees and things are looking up.

    My contribution to the business has mostly been on the motor side although the machine shop I run has also contributed with prototyping and making fixtures for the controller side of the business. Three years ago I hired a young machinist to work in the shop, he is very capable and learned to wire up vehicles, set up the controllers, solder stuff, run the test dyno as well as operate the manual and CNC equipment. Unfortunately for me he wants to pursue his own machining/car repair business so I need to find some new help.

    I didn't think it would be too hard to find a young person interested in such varied and exciting work but I was wrong, the position has been advertised at the community college and on the website "indeed" for months and we have not received any promising resumes. The posting lists the starting wage as $25/hour but I would pay someone with a solid skill set more. We paid the last guy more, he got his papers while he was here. I have my tool and die license so I can sponsor an apprentice. Compared to other machine shops I have worked at, the atmosphere here is downright pleasant, more like a laid back tech start-up.

    Any tips on how to find the kind of person that is passionately interested in building things and solving problems? The company is located in Waterloo Ontario if any local forum members happen to know a good candidate.

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    When I worked for what now is called Sherwood Medical in an R&D facility, we had similar requirements in technicians. They made prototypes and developed electronic circuits. We found that we had to hire electronic technicians and teach them to run the lathe and mill in my workroom. Hiring machinists and teaching them electronics was hopeless. Having graduated from one of the trade schools that advertise "Be an electronic technician and make big money" meant only that they had enough ambition to attend the course. I never met one who could handle basic theory. The best indicator was building amateur radio or audio equipment as a hobby, never mind whether he had an associate degree. The best training was Navy or Marine Corps. We had one with only Army training, but he was a very unusual person, so much so that I quickly lost him to management.

    I got the job because I wanted to work in medical electronics and heard that Brunswick had acquired this company and was expanding it. I called the PHD who ran it and he was so rude that mostly for spite I wrote him a resume that would have made Mohammad Ali blush. Along with claiming a strong electronic background, I said I could run any machine in his shop. A slight exaggeration, but it turned out to be the best thing I should have said.

    You probably have an amateur radio club there. Contacting them or putting up a notice in an electronics store might work.

    Bill

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    So you're looking to hire 4 people then?
    Maybe 8 and each pair will do almost the work of 1 skilled person?

    Seriously, the guy you're talking about IS out there, but I think they
    are hard to find if not very rare. People get lucky once in awhile
    and find a multi talented guy. You might just try placing ads on
    Craigslist, it's free.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    You probably have an amateur radio club there. Contacting them or putting up a notice in an electronics store might work.
    That's a great idea. Wouldn't work around here tho. No radio clubs and the last real electronics
    store disappeared 30 years ago. Not including Radio Shack......they closed last year.

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    You might hold out for a guy or gal who can/will do all these jobs well, as well as fly and maintain a corporate aircraft. You never know when you might be going places. Regards, Clark

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    Canada has an apprenticeship system. Are you willing to indenture someone fresh out of school? Big thing in Canada is pre-apprenticeship training across Canada but the catch is few employers will indenture.
    I was in a different trade and went through four employers to get my time. I scored the last 12 months by agreeing to look after the shop while the boss went moose hunting. In exchange he signed for my last 12 months I needed.
    Years ago I heard that when someone asked a Japanese businessman why they spent so much time and money on staff training. The Japanese pointed out that employees are the only thing that does not depreciate over time in a business.

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    SBAER, I'm in Kitchener and have a young guy in mind. He did a carpentry apprenticeship, but carpentry wasn't really his thing. As an aside, I've long read many of your posts and here I'm reminded that you're actually local. If you'd be willing to entertain another young man (myself) on a shop/business tour, I'd love the opportunity to meet a fellow PM'er. I am not at all involved in the electric vehicle/battery business, rather, am a chemist with an interest in instrumentation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post

    That's a great idea. Wouldn't work around here tho. No radio clubs and the last real electronics
    store disappeared 30 years ago. Not including Radio Shack......they closed last year.

    Antique Wireless Association
    P.O. Box 421
    Bloomfield, NY 14469



    Xtal Set Society

    Becca's husband is at the university in Lawrence, KS, so of course, so is she, but you may be able to advertise in her newsletter. Besides, dealing with her is a real trip.

    Home


    Bill
    Last edited by 9100; 12-06-2017 at 08:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Antique Wireless Association
    P.O. Box 421
    Bloomfield, NY 14469
    78 miles / 1.5 hrs away
    Interesting none the less!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC Mech View Post
    SBAER, I'm in Kitchener and have a young guy in mind. He did a carpentry apprenticeship, but carpentry wasn't really his thing. As an aside, I've long read many of your posts and here I'm reminded that you're actually local. If you'd be willing to entertain another young man (myself) on a shop/business tour, I'd love the opportunity to meet a fellow PM'er. I am not at all involved in the electric vehicle/battery business, rather, am a chemist with an interest in instrumentation.
    Hi

    Contact me I'd be happy to find out more

    [email protected]

    Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    78 miles / 1.5 hrs away
    Interesting none the less!
    If you are not joking contact me. Canada is not a bad place to live, I had an engineer that grew up in Ithaca but he left 8 months ago to work for Hyperloop One.

    Stan
    [email protected]

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    78 miles / 1.5 hrs away
    Interesting none the less!
    The AWA museum is there but it is a national organization with members all over. The museum is worth the trip by itself. The Ken Burns series "Empire of the Air" opened with the museum's spark transmitter and a spherical Audion lighting up, owned by Lauren Peckham, one of the organization's leaders.

    Bill

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    Well, good luck with the new possibility, but if that doesn't work out, you mentioned the local college, but what about the vocational skewl in your area? Also - I am guessing that you may still have some Ag departments in your local high skewls? Talk to the teacher and put a bug in his ear. Even 30+ years ago most in the Ag classes weren't going to be farmers, but the shop part of the class was more up their alley than wood class or ???

    Just b/c they don't intend to go to college doesn't mean that they are stoopid. Some may be - yes, but some smart kids don't want to ever step another foot inside a classroom even if you paid them.


    -------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBAER View Post
    If you are not joking contact me. Canada is not a bad place to live, I had an engineer that grew up in Ithaca but he left 8 months ago to work for Hyperloop One.

    Stan
    [email protected]

    I was referring to Bills post.
    (Read post #7)
    You are most likely a lot farther away.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by SBAER View Post
    We are in the business of helping OEM's develop light battery powered electric vehicles, e-bikes, lawn tractors, golf carts etc. Our core products are the motor controllers which are basically battery powered VFDs but we also design, develop and manufacture brushless DC motors. I have involved in the business since its inception 10 years ago, we've grown in fits and starts, at the moment we have about 25 employees and things are looking up.

    My contribution to the business has mostly been on the motor side although the machine shop I run has also contributed with prototyping and making fixtures for the controller side of the business. Three years ago I hired a young machinist to work in the shop, he is very capable and learned to wire up vehicles, set up the controllers, solder stuff, run the test dyno as well as operate the manual and CNC equipment. Unfortunately for me he wants to pursue his own machining/car repair business so I need to find some new help.

    I didn't think it would be too hard to find a young person interested in such varied and exciting work but I was wrong, the position has been advertised at the community college and on the website "indeed" for months and we have not received any promising resumes. The posting lists the starting wage as $25/hour but I would pay someone with a solid skill set more. We paid the last guy more, he got his papers while he was here. I have my tool and die license so I can sponsor an apprentice. Compared to other machine shops I have worked at, the atmosphere here is downright pleasant, more like a laid back tech start-up.

    Any tips on how to find the kind of person that is passionately interested in building things and solving problems? The company is located in Waterloo Ontario if any local forum members happen to know a good candidate.
    .
    you want maintenance mechanic or automated equipment mechanic or you want a jack of all trades handy man not really a expert in anything ?
    .
    you want too much. i was machinist, mechanic, welder and although i did some electrical it was mostly checking for blown fuse. programmable logic controllers was above my pay grade
    .
    AEM is usually machinist, mechanic, electrical controls rarely a welder
    .
    Millwright often machinist, mechanic, welder but not much in electrical but checking fuses.
    .
    maintenance mechanic often get $28/hr but i would not change jobs cause many places want worker to take old machine thats got serious problems and perform miracles to get it working. since boss often got unrealistic expectations and some hire and fire often if you cannot fix machine thats got problems out of their control it often better to not take those jobs even at $30/hr if going to get fired in a few months
    .
    i would rather be a cnc operator making over $75,000/yr with no real pressure to perform miracles and fix old machines. often fixing old machines you can spends months and $10,000's trying to fix and then find it was just a $1 spring in hydraulic pressure relief that needed replacing. and even though fixed machine boss still not happy spending over $10,000 replacing other stuff that was not the real cause of problem......... high risk job with little reward from unrealistic boss...... my xray vision dont work too well. you need superman to come work for you

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    You need superman to come work for you
    No, you need a guy with 2 brain cells to rub together.

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    There are people working as engineers. Plenty bright enough to handle that work. Tired of being a desk jockey in a cubicle environment. Just a thought for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    No, you need a guy with 2 brain cells to rub together.
    .
    facts i went from maintenance mechanic at $27.70/hr about $56,000/yr and no overtime to being a cnc operator make over $75,000/yr with overtime and 401k match. basically i made $20,000 more last year and will this year NOT being a maintenance mechanic but being a cnc operator
    .
    if guy is machinist, mechanic, welder, electrician..... thats the problem he can make more often just being only one of these.
    .
    that is what i call being smarter. like i said i have worked where boss wanted miracles and i have often seen many maintenance mechanics working on stuff for months and still not being able to fix machine. old electronic circuit boards just plain malfunctioning with random machine shut downs i have seen often. that aint no mechanical adjustment.
    .
    basically before i would take a job i see if boss has unrealistic expectations. i have seen others fired after months for not being able to fix machine problems and they can take years to over come being fired. even if they offer a few dollars/hr more usually not worth it
    .
    by the way maintenance mechanic also does plumbing like toilet repairs, chemical cleaning of equipment and some really nasty jobs besides any mason and carpentry work needing to be done

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    Sounds like an interesting job. If it was closer I'd really be interested. I'm ready for a change, but not interested in relocating.

    Contact your local college for recommendations. That's what my boss does when he wants somebody fresh and cheap. He's batting .500 on getting somebody good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    No, you need a guy with 2 brain cells to rub together.

    You do a pretty good Welden impression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Dubeau View Post
    Sounds like an interesting job. If it was closer I'd really be interested. I'm ready for a change, but not interested in relocating.

    Contact your local college for recommendations. That's what my boss does when he wants somebody fresh and cheap. He's batting .500 on getting somebody good.
    .
    i use to work with engineers they tell me what they want machine to do i design make parts install align debug and get machine to do it. never said it was not interesting but until i realized i could make $20,000/yr more doing another job like cnc operator i never realized the interesting job was not worth it or rather other jobs pay a lot more. like putting an extra $100,000 per 5 years in 401k that adds up. thats called being smarter

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