Employer Success Stories

HRE Wheels

HRE Performance Wheels has locations in both Germany and California and specialized in the design, engineering, and production of forged wheels. According to Director of Operations David McBride, on the machining side of their business they have filled six positions over the last 12 months with one more left to go, and it took a while for their company to find the right fit.

“We look for not only experience, but also the person themselves. We try to hire someone who is going to fit within our culture with the way we think and our business, so someone doesn’t necessarily have to have 10 years experience. I don’t look at that a whole lot. We look at their skillsets and make sure they know CNC.”

Believe it or not, HRE Wheels wasn’t lacking in applicants, just qualified applicants. They would get resumes from a variety of different professional backgrounds and had to sift through in order to find those they wanted to interview.

“At one point we were looking for a programmer and were having a hard time finding someone. We don’t just do machining here, we have assembly and other activities going on, so even though a lot of those are more entry level, they were still difficult to find. We would also get a lot of people who just didn’t fit. They didn’t have the drive or the personality we were looking for.”

Once they did find the right candidates, they made sure their interview process was thorough and helped show off their skills. Workshops for Warriors graduate Kordrell passed all the tests and impressed the team, and he was hired in June 2016.

“We had a good experience with Kordrell; I think we all liked him from the beginning. We interviewed pretty extensively. Candidates interview with 3, 4, and sometimes even more people just to make sure everybody buys into that person. With machinists we usually give them a written basic CNC machine shop test. If they can pass that they have the experience we need. Some come in with experience but are more just operations.” He added,

“You can either run CNC equipment or you can’t. So if you don’t know what you’re doing we will know right away. Part of the interview process too is taking them on the production floor and quiz them on different aspects of the equipment and how they would go about certain tasks.”

Not unlike many other machine shops and manufacturing companies, HRE Wheels makes sure that every new employee is put through extensive training once they are hiredThis is why a well-rounded candidate who knows the basics of CNC is the most appealing.

“A lot of what Kordrell learned on the controllers was key for us. We put him through training on several different pieces of equipment. Our product is different than many because a lot of companies run small parts at high volumes, whereas we run large parts at small volumes, so it’s very different.”

When asked about what he thought about Workshops for Warriors and the training our students earn here, he spoke to the machining program and the current state of the advanced manufacturing industry.

“With [your students] understanding the control systems on the machines—that’s key. Training them on Mastercam is also good because they learn how to program, but it also teaches you how to setup parts on the machine too in a way. So it’s a good skillset to learn that.” He added,

“I think it’s a great program what you’re doing. The reality is that machinists are a dying breed and it’s hard to find a good machinist because so much has moved out of this country. So an organization training our Veterans in a trade that there is a demand for is great.”

Finally, when asked if he would recommend Workshops for Warriors graduates to other employers seeking job candidates, McBride had an excellent answer.

“No, because I’d want them first.” All jokes aside, he added, “Absolutely. Kordrell is absolutely great. The way he handled himself in the interview I had to have him quit calling me ‘sir.’ That was a good thing. Just overall confidence and his drive just really impressed us. So if everyone coming out is like that this year then we definitely would hire someone else.”

To learn more about HRE Performance Wheels, visit HREWheels.com.

–David McBride, HRE Performance Wheels Director of Operations