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Six Sigma

Why Manufacturers Want Candidates with Six Sigma Experience

As a Mining and Heavy Industrial recruiter, my team and I are all working with dozens of manufacturing organizations across the country. Over the first three quarters of 2019, we have noticed several hiring trends throughout the manufacturing industry. Many of our clients are creating a massive push for candidates with Six Sigma experience.

But what is Six Sigma, and why are employers searching for candidates with these qualifications?

What is Six Sigma?

Six Sigma is the methodology that helps organizations improve the performance, production, and efficiency in their business processes. It decreases variation, reduces defects, and improves your organizations’ quality. Essentially, Six Sigma “views all work as processes that can be defined, measured, analyzed, improved, and controlled,” according to the American Society for Quality.

Six Sigma was the brainchild of Motorola engineer Bill Smith in 1980. Six Sigma was Bill’s statistical approach designed to increase profitability and reduce defects. These manufacturing principals generated billions of dollars for Motorola. By 1995, Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, made this philosophy central to his business strategy at GE and this philosophy soon spread throughout the manufacturing industry like a wildfire.

Why is it so valuable to employers?

Six Sigma saves manufacturers money by improving processes throughout the company. Thus, if a candidate holds one of these certifications, they are a hot commodity in today’s labor market. These certifications validate a candidate’s skills necessary to identify errors in a given process and find solutions to eliminate them. In other words, candidates with these certifications can improve your operations by eliminating inefficiencies and reducing waste.

So, whether your organization needs engineers, technicians, or QC/QA professionals, candidates with these certifications are highly desirable. If your operations require candidates with such Six Sigma qualifications, reach out to me. Our team here at Johnson Search Group has a pipeline of professionals with these certifications that are looking to make an immediate impact within a new company.

Recycling & It's Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Recycling And The Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Recycling & It's Impact On Mining & Heavy Industrial

Everyone is familiar with recycling. Whether you have a bin at home, reuse your grocery bags, or even just print documents at work double-sided. But today I encourage you to look at the bigger picture. How is recycling impacting the mining and heavy industrial world?

Recycling Nickel

Tesla has recently noted that the global supply of nickel is potentially a limiting factor in growth for battery production. Assuming the majority of my readers are in the United States, what does that mean? Where does the US even get its nickel (Ni)? There has only been one active Ni mine in the US in recent years, with a large amount of the world’s Ni production based in Canada.

There are, however, hundreds of recycling companies that pull valuable materials from used batteries. Every time you recycle a battery, you are preventing a potential environmental hazard from leaking into the environment. Additionally, you could be helping the advancement of one of the most innovative companies of our time.

Speaking to the environmental impact, I work to place candidates with one of the major recyclers in this space. I know firsthand that they stick to the strictest environmental standards, going above and beyond the regulations placed on them. In partnering with them to find top talent, I work directly to find the highest caliber of candidates who not only meet but exceed environmental standards.

Paper Recycling

Another industry I recruit in regularly is papermaking. I think most people can count on one hand the number of handwritten letters they have composed recently, but that doesn’t mean that paper is on the way out! Consider print advertising, packaging for consumables (food), and shipping. When you recycle that box from your favorite online retailer, it’s broken down for the production of more paper.

In addition to reducing the raw fiber materials (trees), you can help reduce the volume it would take in a landfill. When organic material breaks down, it creates gasses, something that landfills have had to learn to manage and utilize. Paper and wood mills alike use waste to generate their own utilities. This further saves a drain on solid-state fuels and natural gas. I worked with a gentleman who was able to generate more recovery power than a primary power generator at a major paper mill.

Additional High-Impact Areas

The list of mining and heavy industrial components impacted by recycling is long. Asphalt is recycled and reused. The fly ash from power generation contributes to the manufacturing of cement. The dust from certain types of steel manufacturing can be recycled to recover materials. I have worked with mining companies that create their own water collection and treatment facilities. They then design beautiful habitats for wildlife. Some of the country’s top engineers and specialists remain on staff to maintain a healthy environment.

For consumers and companies alike, there is plenty of room to make an impact. Whether on the environment, industry, or simply the availability of products you use every day. For employers in the mining & heavy industrial space, finding the best possible talent is not quite so easy. If you have found it challenging to recruit and hire talented candidates who share your passion and commitment to the environment, let’s talk. I can connect you with people who will help you achieve production goals, equipment availability, environmental commitment, or financial control and forecasting. Reach out to me so I can learn how to help your company discover the talent you need to continue making an impact.

coal industry

Open for Discussion: The Fate of the Coal Industry

coal industry

Here we go again; or maybe not? The latest round of bankruptcies and closures came as a shock to many of the miners in the industry. At the beginning of July, Blackjewel Mine abruptly closed two of its operations in Wyoming, immediately displacing 600 workers and filed for emergency bankruptcy. Although some are saying that the mines closed due to poor management, it still has a devastating effect on the industry psyche.

U.S. coal mines were making a resurgence from the pre-2015 coal downturn, fueling feelings of optimism and hope. As a recruiter specializing in the mining industry, I witnessed first-hand, and with a heavy heart, the devastation of the last downturn and the mass exodus of coal miners from the industry. That incredible talent left the mining industry to pursue new careers, with no intention of returning.

The coal industry produces more than just energy

Coal is vital to our world. I personally do not see coal permanently going away, despite the talk. Natural gas has pushed coal out of the power plant business, but they too have their issues. Solar and wind power (green energies) take up too much valuable real estate; both of these are also scrutinized for harming the environment. Nuclear energy, also touted as green energy, has already proven just how much more devastating it can be to the environment; much more so than coal.

The good news is that data predicts global coal will continue to grow into 2022, even though the major players are scaling down. The coal industry shows just how resilient the people of mining are. The Mining team here at JSG is looking for mining professionals. If you are one of these displaced workers or just looking to further your career, contact us! We have dozens of job opportunities in the mining & heavy industrial industry.

skilled labor gap

Skilled Trades Gap in Mining and Heavy Industrial

skilled trades gap

As the year goes on, it’s interesting to see what today’s competitive job market will dictate. While recruiting day in and day out for my mining and heavy industrial clients, I have a relatively diverse blend of job orders. Usually, there are several management positions, always a Mechanical Reliability Engineer and Chemical Process Engineer, then the elusive “Process Control Engineer.” I am typically working on at least one EHS position at all times and a handful of skilled trades: electricians, mechanics, welders, and millwrights. And then there’s always just a completely random technical off-the-wall job order.

The skilled trades gap

This year, I have noticed a common theme with my clients: each one has numerous skilled trades job openings. Mostly electricians and millwrights, with some I&E Techs mixed in there. Needless to say, I have spent the majority of my year filling these roles, and there seems to be no end in sight. But I am not complaining! Clients are moving fast and candidates are getting great new opportunities.

As candidates get more selective about opportunities and hourly rates rise, clients who are not paying top-dollar and have a poor hiring process will continue to lose out. I believe this is due to the lack of candidates with entry-level skilled trades entering the labor market. For example, a senior electrician can demand top dollar – and get it. A recent study estimates that by 2020, nearly 31 million Baby Boomers will retire from skilled trade positions. As a result of this gap, many employers are struggling to fill their essential skilled trade positions.

Let us find your skilled trade candidates

Although I cannot personally solve the labor gap that skills trades face, I can provide a solution to your operation. If your company that is facing the common challenge of not being able to hire skilled trades positions, please get in contact with me. My team and I at Johnson Search Group are successfully sourcing these critical roles in today’s tight job market. And, if you have a background in skilled trades, at any experience level, get connected with me. You will want to hear about the opportunities I am currently working on!

The 3 Most Wanted Mining & Heavy Industrial Positions

Mining & Heavy Industrial

As a recruiter who specializes in the mining & heavy industrial industries, I navigate the ever-changing landscape daily – from interesting new clients and candidates to new job orders and hiring processes. So far this year, my team and I have noticed several trends throughout the labor market. Here are the top 3 most critical positions that we are seeing across the mining & heavy industrial manufacturing.

  1. Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS)

Nearly every client of mine is looking for some sort of EHS Professional. These roles range in seniority, from specialists to global directors. EHS is certainly a must-need so far this year. With the importance of employee safety and environmental safety, EHS seems to be at an all-time high. Different states have different regulations to abide by. As a result, job descriptions and qualifications vary greatly from company to company. The good news is that EHS professionals are some of the best candidates to work with!

  1. Process Engineers

Oh boy, I swear everyone needs a Process Engineer. In fact, most companies are looking for several. With such a focus on continuous improvement projects throughout facilities, Process Engineers are in incredibly high demand. If you have a Chemical Engineering degree and six-sigma experience, get in contact with my team NOW! I believe every HR team is working on at least one Process Engineering position. This goes for just about all industries we work on including mining, aggregates, pulp and paper, and metal manufacturing.

  1. Instrumentation and Electrical (I&E)

The number one most wanted position in the mining & heavy industrial space has to be Instrumentation and Electrical. With mining and manufacturing doing so well in today’s market, everyone needs some sort of I&E position. From power systems to instrumentation and controls, this is by far the most critical role I have received across the board. Luckily, there are a good number of qualified candidates to fill these roles. It certainly wouldn’t be a bad time to have these skill sets and qualifications. In other words, I am seeing these candidates get great compensation packages. Electrical maintenance is a position I work on day in and day out. If you have an I&E background and are looking for a new opportunity, get in touch with me and my team.

Subsequently, if your mining or heavy industrial team has critical roles to fill in these areas, contact me today. I have a steady pipeline of qualified candidates ready to grow their careers and make their next move.

Mining Trends

Mining Trends to Watch for in 2019

Mining Trends

The Mining industry is recovering from a difficult couple of decades. Since October 2016, mining has been steadily growing in both production and job creation. While there are many factors that affect this volatile industry, here are a few mining trends to watch for in the second half of 2019.

Access to resources

As mining companies continue to extract mineral resources, we are seeing once fruitful areas begin to become exhausted. To accommodate, mining organizations have two options:

  • Use new technologies for further extraction and processing
  • Open new extraction and processing locations in areas that were once not economically viable

New technologies will also help make mining processes more efficient and economical. Organizations will be able to save time and money during processing, all while reducing waste. As a result, new plants or mines will open up, which will generate new jobs for years to come.

Transforming the workforce

In 2018, employment in the mining industry increased by an average of 5,000 jobs per month. And in the first half of 2019, average monthly job gains are over 1,000 jobs. This is great news! The mining industry as a whole has left it’s pre-2016 slump and has been steadily growing. However, the labor force as a whole is aging as Baby Boomers near retirement.

In fact, by 2022 more than one-quarter of the U.S. labor force will be in the 55-plus age category. To put it in perspective, the percentage of Baby Boomers who are now retired has doubled since 2010. In the mining sector, 27 percent of the workforce will be over the age of 55 in 2022. This is especially troubling because the mining sector is the fifth fastest growing industry sector with a growth rate of 1.4 percent over the next 5 years. To compensate for the aging workforce, mining organizations will have to find creative ways to attract younger talent.

There’s a skills gap

With a rapidly growing industry and a workforce that is aging, employers are having troubles finding and retaining skilled workers in the mining sector. There are 1.63 million more jobs than available workers to fill them, and the mining industry is feeling the effects of this challenge for employers. As the mining industry continues to digitize, employers have to find ways to attract younger talent and train current employees on new processes and technologies.

Mining is becoming more and more automated, and mining employers are going to have to make workplace adjustments. A great example of this is Rio Tinto, who recently announced a $2 million vocational education and training initiative to address their skills gap. Programs like this will help ensure the next generation of workers is prepared to make an impact in the mining sector.

Get the talent your team needs

If your recruiting efforts are stuck in a rut, our team can help you find the diamonds in the rough. Our experienced Mining & Heavy Industrial recruiting team knows the ins-and-outs of the industry and will help your team find the talent you need in today’s competitive market. Contact a JSG recruiter today!

Pulp and Paper Industry

10 Interesting Facts About the Pulp and Paper Industry

The Pulp and Paper Industry has been around for centuries and it plays an integral role in our everyday lives. Without even realizing it, we use paper almost every single day. In fact, there are over 5,000 products made from paper and paper by-products. From napkins to coffee filters to even shipping materials, we use paper much more than we typically think about. Here are 10 interesting facts about the Pulp and Paper Industry that you may not have known.

10 interesting paper industry facts

  1. Paper was first invented in China in 100 B.C. and the paper industry was officially created in 105 A.D.
  2. Paper was originally made by mixing chopped bark, hemp, and water. Then, you’d press it flat and let it dry in the sun to form paper.
  3. The first patent issued for a continuous papermaking machine was in 1799 to Louis-Nicolas Robert in France.
  4. Benjamin Franklin was the first paper merchant in America. He also helped start 18 mills in Virginia and surrounding areas.
  5. The U.S. Pulp and Paper Industry produces 78 million tons of paper per year, valued at $187 billion. Additionally, it employs 373,400 people with an annual payroll of over $30 billion and an average salary of $81,300.
  6. Every year, Americans use about 70 million tons of paper and paperboard.
  7. A single pine tree can produce approximately 80,500 sheets of paper.
  8. Paper is one the easiest and most inexpensive consumer products to recycle, and worldwide, 65% of it is recovered.
  9. Since 1990, U.S. paper recovery has increased by 76%.
  10. Ironically, the United States’ printed “paper” money isn’t paper at all. It’s 75% cotton and 25% linen. So, the saying “money doesn’t grow on trees” is certainly true!

Looking for your next paper career opportunity?

The paper industry is full of interesting facts and plays a crucial role in all of our lives. So, if you work in the Pulp and Paper Industry and are looking for a new opportunity, my team and I have several exciting opportunities across the United States. Reach out to me if you’re ready for your next step in your career! Additionally, you can check out the Johnson Search Group job board. We have dozens of opportunities available across the country!

safety

Spring is Here and Idled Mines Are Roaring Back to Life

safety

It was a long winter, and all the off-season work and preparation you’ve done for this spring is about to be put into action. You’re chomping at the bit to start the engines, push some buttons, and start producing. But before you do that, please take a moment and think about safety.

Did you know April is the second deadliest month in the metal and non-metal industry, with 50 fatalities since 2000? Here are a few good reminders to help keep everyone safe, especially during the first few months of producing, when the weather may only allow you to run intermittently.

New Employees

Very often you will have new employees joining your team when your season begins. Whether these employees are industry veterans or brand new to mining, designate time to train and establish safe work practices. Refresh on manufacturers’ specifications for safe equipment operation and make sure to focus training on unfamiliar or new tasks.

First Aid and Emergency Response Procedures

Make sure all employees understand and follow these procedures! It is imperative that you designate a competent person to be available at all times in case of an emergency. This person should be trained and able to provide first aid, including artificial respiration, bleeding control, treatment of shock and burns.

Plan and Communicate

Early in the season, allow extra time to complete tasks and projects. It is common for routine tasks to take longer than normal. Allowing extra time will help ensure they are being completed safely and correctly. Communicate clear instructions, including how to mitigate risk and the proper use of safety equipment.

It’s going to be a busy 2019 in the metal and non-metal industry. Just keep in mind safety has to always come first. It only takes one small moment of carelessness for an accident to happen. Always keep your guard up and look out for one another. Have a great season and let’s all go home safe.

mining

The Limitations and Possibilities in Mining

mining

It’s no news to anyone that the crippling cold weather we had in the Midwest can halt work activities.

While talking with one of my contacts today, we were going over extreme conditions worked in; they do not break ground when temperatures are below 14 °F degrees. Another contact went over the same procedure and they don’t work in anything below -30 °F. It’s so frigid that you can even find images of rail tracks having fires lit on them to warm them up.

It got me thinking about a picture a colleague showed me from a diamond mine in Serbia; some of the extreme mines out there are pushing the boundaries of engineering today.

In cold weather, special rubbers, fluids, and PPE are necessary. So here is something to take your mind off the cold if you’re in the Midwest!

Meet the Mponeng Gold Mine: The World’s Deepest Mine

mining

Source: Wikipedia

Located in South Africa, the world’s deepest mine is a staggering 2.5 miles (or 4 kilometers) below the surface. The temperature of the rock at that depth is 151 °F or (66 °C) and pumps cycle ice slurry down just to make the conditions manageable. Just going to that temperature without the insulation and cooling would be fatal.

As you look at how far we’ve been able to push the boundaries, a number of countries have worked to drill as far as possible. The Kola Superdeep Borehole was a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union. The project aimed to drill as deep into the Earth’s crust as possible. The USSR made it nearly 8 miles below the surface and is the deepest known to man. The temperature there is 180 °F (356 °C)!

Pushing the boundaries in mining

There are numerous threads talking about the sheer possibilities of using this energy. The Geothermal activity could power boilers and turbines and in turn, may have endless possibilities. And on that point, a number of these deep gold mines in Africa are not possible without modern technology.

Technology in mining is the main reason we’re able to explore and question opportunities for future energy sources. And without us continuing to push the boundaries, who knows where we would be today.

I’m always fascinated by both historical and futuristic views into my industry. If you have any particular sites that you have pictures of or a website that you think is very interesting, I’d love to see it!

safety

Safety in Mining – It’s Come A Long Way

safety

The mining industry has come a long way over the last 120 years. In years past, mining had little to no oversight and miners’ lives were put at risk, daily. The bright spot is that the mining industry in the U.S. has made serious headway in minimizing injuries and deaths. Safety has been moved to the forefront and everyone participates. Training, culture, and active participation all play a role in making safety and saving lives a priority.

Here are some encouraging stats:

  • From 1979-1999 metal and non-metal mining had 1,706 fatalities, according to MSHA.
  • From 2000-2018 for metal and non-metal, that number dropped to 476 fatalities.
  • Coal saw 1,644 fatalities between 1979 and 1999.
  • Coal dropped to 489 fatalities during the period between 2000 and 2018.

Fatalities are trending down in mining

2018 saw 15 fatalities in metal/non-metal mining; up two from 2017, but the second lowest year since MSHA started keeping track. Coal also did well in 2018, having the second-best year ever (tying with 2015) with 12 fatalities. In contrast, this is up from 2016, which saw 8 fatalities and is down from the 15 in 2017. To really slam home the safety improvement within the industry, coal had 3,243 fatalities in 1907 – the most in recorded history. In 1917, metal and non-metal had only 983.

It is a given fact that any fatality is unacceptable, but the strides the industry is making at reducing incidents is very encouraging.

Miners are essential

Those who have read my article “10 Interesting Mining Facts You Probably Didn’t Know,” understand the importance of the mining industry to our world. Miners are essential, and in my opinion, do not receive the recognition they deserve. With that said, a safety culture, while at times inconvenient and cumbersome, is there to ensure everyone gets home to their families at the end of the day.

This article is dedicated to the 128,597 souls we have lost in mining over the past 119 years since the U.S. started keeping records in 1900. Respect, love, and having each other’s backs = mining.