Midwest Industries, Inc. Focuses on Workforce Culture and Development
7 Dec 2021
Midwest Industries, Inc. in Ida Grove, Iowa, builds high-quality, unique, and innovative products for marine enthusiasts by leveraging state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution processes, focusing on boat trailers, boat lifts, and dock and spa accessories. Midwest Industries, Inc. credits company culture as one of the leading driving forces behind their ability to produce such cutting-edge products.
“Midwest Industries, Inc. has worked to develop and sustain a work culture that is inclusive, respectful, meaningful, and rewarding,” said Jeff Ogren, Midwest industries Human Resource Manager. “As a family-owned company, it’s important for us to provide a welcoming work environment that works for our employees.”
At their Ida Grove facility, Midwest Industries, Inc. directly employs 275 with an additional 70 employees contracted through staffing agencies.
“Midwest has many direct production and support opportunities for employees,” said Ogren. “Direct production opportunities include fabrication, CNC and milling operations, laser operators, manual and robot welding, material handlers, assembly, packaging, powder coating, and more. Support opportunities include housekeeping, parts cage, UPS packaging, truck shop, shag driver, construction and machine maintenance, and more.”
Support for new employees is immediate. “New employees are assigned mentors to help them get better acquainted with their new work environment, job tasks, team responsibilities and expectations, and to introduce them to team mates,” said Ogren. “Employees learn job tasks for the team they are hired into first, but other opportunities are available in many areas of the plant when they are ready to broaden their skill base.”
Midwest Industries, Inc. also began offering a shuttle service in 2018 for its employees who live in the Denison and Schleswig areas. “We felt there was an opportunity to provide a service to our employees and to further help our recruiting efforts in the Denison area,” said Ogren. “With the help of Rita Frahm, President of the Ida County Economic Board, and Chris Whitaker with Region 12 Council of Governments, we were able to get a grant to help offset initial costs for employees and the company. Currently there are 28 employees signed up for the shuttle service. Prior to Covid, we had more than 50 shuttle riders.”
Midwest Industries, Inc. often coordinates with the Odebolt Arthur Battle Creek Ida Grove School District (OABCIG) for workforce development by helping high school seniors gain real-world experience.
“School to Career is a class/internship opportunity for seniors at OABCIG,” said Ogren. “Seniors who are on track to graduate, and have acceptable school attendance, take classes during the morning each day and are then dismissed at 11:30 a.m. to eat lunch and travel to their internship worksites. Internships may be paid or unpaid depending on the duties and requirements involved. Overall, students have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate workplace performance standards related to their job as well as basic workplace qualities such as showing initiative, following directions, dependability/work ethic, good attitude/interest in work, cooperation, attendance/punctuality, and communication skills. Students may either participate for the full year or for one semester.”
“Midwest Industries also provides opportunities for high school-aged students who are not directly involved in the School to Career class at OABCIG. Students have been offered opportunities to work flexible hours at Midwest in various production areas. Although not directly linked to the School to Career class, these students are given the opportunity to demonstrate workplace performance standards and workplace qualities such as showing initiative, dependability, work ethic, teamwork, attendance, and communication skills. These students are provided with on-site job instruction and receive feedback from their teams on how they are performing.”
For more information about career opportunities at Midwest Industries, check out their website.
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Western Iowa, with its committed workforce, strong sense of community, and quality of life, should be high on the list of locations for companies looking to grow and improve. Contact Western Iowa Advantage to learn more about the region, workforce development, and available sites. Follow on Facebook and LinkedIn.