Stecker Machine Blog

2022 Stecker Youth Employment Spotlight

08/17/2022 | Matt Oswald

Summer Youth Employment, Youth Apprentices, Manufacturing

Investing in youth employees provides a footing for success. Solid business is built on partnerships, and successful companies develop long-term relationships with employees, customers, and suppliers. Offering youth job experiences is key investment in developing partnership at an early stage.

This summer, we were lucky to employee nine youth from local high schools. These students to new graduates brought their youthful outlook and energy to Stecker Machine. Leaders working with these youth secured strong results.

Provide youth job opportunities

Manufacturing affords many job opportunities. Typically, we have offered CNC Machining Youth Apprenticeships and summer maintenance help for youth ranging from 15-18 years old. This year, we reached out further creating new youth opportunities.

Expanding job options, let us go past the common complaints and stereotypes. We can show young people our manufacturing career. We get a chance to provide a firsthand experience to CNC Machining. By giving them a chance, we get to test and evaluate their strengths.

Play to their strengths

Our youth employees had a wide range of interests and personalities, and we played to their needs and interests. While we are always looking for production help, we also had opportunities in support departments. Here is a quick list of the jobs we offered.

  • CNC Machine Operator
  • Pressure Tester, Assembler
  • Washline Operator
  • Maintenance Helper
  • HR and Marketing Helper
  • Tool Crib Inventory Specialist

Not only did we work to match the right job with the right employee, but we also did our best to make work schedules fit. Some youth employees were ready for a regular full day schedule, and we are glad for that. Others had different commitments and opportunities. We did our best to allow for football practice, summer camps, family trips and other jobs. Bottom line is we tried to treat each employee like they were our kids, and many of the youth have family connections here.

Getting work done and having fun doing it

Our youth employees enjoyed their work. It was easy to see in the smiles and laughing. AJ was one of the best examples. He always had a smile and something fun to say. Not only were they happy, but they also felt rewarded by their efforts. They are part of our team and feel a sense of accomplishment from working together on tasks from making good parts, to cleaning up a coolant spill, to completing a human resources project.

Harvest the rewards

Summer help benefits our company in many ways. First, each youth worked hard and was productive in his or her tasks. Second, many of the youth have family connections here. So, it's nice that a father and son can see what each other does for work. Or two friends like Brady and Sal can spend time working together. Third, several of our tenured employees enjoyed working with a new generation. Many of our mentors like Troy, Jeff, and Tyler had lot of great things to say.

  • "He (or She) is a hard-worker."
  • "They were brought up well and have strong work ethic."
  • "I enjoy working with them."
  • "They improve the atmosphere."

Finally, each youth employee leaves with their experience. They will tell their friends and family about their experience. Some will stay, continue to develop, and grow with us. While others have outside career interests like law enforcement. They may come back next summer or in the future, and if not, we still have the shared positive experience.

Youth spotlights and continuing the journey

Be sure to check out our youth employee spotlights on our social media. For example check our Facebook page here. Madeline our HR and Marketing Summer Helper created these spotlights with the help of Tyson our Summer Tooling Inventory Specialist. They interviewed all nine youth employees and had fun with the project. 

We're always looking to develop our employees. You can learn more about our Youth Apprenticeships programs here. We are actively recruiting for full time employees and next spring we will open new summer help job opportunities.New call-to-action

Matt Oswald

About the Author

Matt leads SMC's Human Resources and Marketing Team. He has worked for Stecker Machine for over 7 years on projects spanning CNC manufacturing, robotics, inbound marketing, and leadership. He enjoys applying his engineering background to any business challenge.

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