Schaffhouser Electric Invests in the Future
STARTING A TRADITION
Based in Tennessee, Schaffhouser Electric provides industrial electrical services to eight states. With nearly 50 employees, the veteran-owned small business invests time, money and resources into each of their employees to ensure the success of the company and the work they do.
Founder, CEO and President John Schaffhouser started an initiative in his company last fall to get every single employee, at all levels of experience, involved in training. His goal is to invest in his workforce and make sure his employees are highly trained and up-to-date with industry knowledge.
“We either constantly evolve or we are falling behind,” Schaffhouser said. “We have to get better faster than our competition is getting better.”
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
Among the many educational programs Schaffhouser offers his employees is OSHA safety training (which employees must be completed annually), NCCER Core Curriculum, Electrical Levels 1-2, Crew Leader Fundamentals, Project Management and Workforce Development. All courses offered to employees are paid for by the company.
Every NCCER course offered to employees can be completed in-house with the facility’s two new training rooms. To complete the courses, the material is learned in-house and then employees apply the material to their work for training. For entry-level electricians, Schaffhouser offers an in-house apprenticeship program that allows students to learn, train and work all at the same time. In addition to the courses offered and the new training rooms, Schaffhouser is still looking to further invest in his employees. The company is currently working toward becoming a NCCER-certified training assessment center and adding more courses to their catalog.
“It’s a ton of work, but we enjoy it,” Schaffhouser said. “We are in the building into the evening almost every night with classes of some kind going on.”
As the company spends time, money, effort and resources on training, they see their employees complete elevated work and have a positive attitude toward the company. Schaffhouser believes that change happens from the top down. When the owner is willing to invest in their employees, their employees are willing to go through higher levels of training and complete better work for the company.
RECRUITING THE NEXT GENERATION
Among Schaffhouser’s training efforts, he also works to recruit students and veterans into the construction industry. By offering classes, training and an in-house apprenticeship program, the company makes it easy for someone to transition into the world of construction.
As a veteran, Schaffhouser knows that many veterans possess the training and knowledge to easily transition into the construction industry. Because of this, he worked with the Veteran’s Affair’s office to get Schaffhouser registered as a business where veterans can use their GI Bill. This allows veterans to receive payment while they take classes and train at Schaffhouser.
Offering training and credentials to new hires is a huge recruitment incentive, according to Schaffhouser. When you are able to tell someone that you are going to invest in their career and their success, “it is a huge selling point for the company.”
Since they have started training all their employees, Schaffhouser notes a positive shift in his employees. As his workforce receives higher levels of training, increasingly works with one another and elevates their skills, the investment is worthwhile.
With industrial electrical work, Schaffhouser finds it particularly important to consistently educate the company on what is new and how to work with the latest technologies. Though his initiative is still in its early stages, he sees an improvement in his company and the work they are completing.
As more employees complete training and receive their credentials, Schaffhouser is looking to continue expanding the initiative and offer more programs for his employees.
“We’ve identified that training is where we are going to separate ourselves from our competition,” Schaffhouser said. “I don’t think our competition is willing to invest the time and effort that we are willing to invest to train our employees. That is how we are going to set ourselves apart. And – we are getting a great reaction from our employees.”
Photos include recent graduating Core Class of 2019, workstations and hands-on training areas.