Today’s Candid Conversation features Waukesha Metal Products CEO, Jeff Clark. In our conversation, he shares how his company is active with schools in the community, values a learning environment and strives to be a place where people are proud to work.
A Community Focused Approach to Talent Attraction
Waukesha Metal Products is a contract metal former that builds parts for a variety of industries such as automotive, industrial and security. With three locations, two in Wisconsin and one in Mexico, talent attraction has been an important aspect of the company’s steady growth.
Community outreach and partnerships have worked well for Jeff and his team over the years. From programs that educate kids on manufacturing careers to apprenticeships and internships, there’s not much Waukesha Metal Products has left untouched. Currently, the company goal is to have 10% of the staff in an apprenticeship or internship role in order to foster a learning environment and ensure new talent is continuously being developed.
Storytelling in Digital Marketing
Storytelling has become a buzzword in the digital marketing world but it’s not without reason. Giving people the story on who you are as a company, what you’re doing and how you’re participating in the community helps bridge a connection with customers and potential talent alike. Especially in an industry that has a rich history with plenty of stories to share.
There are many manufacturing companies that have been hesitant to jump on new marketing trends but Waukesha Metal Products isn’t one of them. The company has rebranded their website and social presence over the years with a focus on who the company is and their core company values— and it’s paying off.
“It’s really about getting the message out early and then continuing to get that message out to build that brand awareness. I think if you travel around schools here in the region and mention Waukesha Metal Products, I’d be surprised if someone wouldn't recognize that name.” Jeff noted.
The Bigger Picture
Attracting great talent is the first step but retaining that talent can often be a challenge. As many in leadership roles are finding, it’s not only about the day-to-day job duties but about the bigger picture. At Waukesha Metal Products that means maintaining that family-like feel in the culture and providing room for people to grow.
“It's really about that career path and giving people a vision of where they're going and I think that works really well,” Jeff mentioned. “It's the people, it's a servant leadership, it's providing people a place where they like to come. It requires work and it requires you're here on time but if you think that you're working for the better good of a group I think that works better than if you're only working for yourself and I think that's where our focus on culture is really centered.”
As for what Jeff is most excited about in the near future, he had this to say:
“My excitement is just about continued growth. It's about being able to better the lives of everyone in the community. We have a lot of launches happening, we're growing this business significantly on the education front, and our trade association just launched an online training system that is going to be available to us as members of the Precision Metal Formers Association and that's going to give our workforce, our employees even more breadth of learning people though.”
Exciting times ahead!