Meet Larry!

Q&A with PMG Machine Operator Larry P.

picture of Larry P.

How long have you been working in manufacturing?

I retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years in 2014. After retiring, I went into manufacturing because of the first job I fell into after the service. I decided to stick with it because I’m more of a hands-on kind of guy and the pay is good compared to other things I could do.

Have you had any formal training?

Yes, I used my GI bill after the military and went to Faulkner State in Alabama for machining. I chose that over welding because welding just seems too hot.

Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I got to see a lot of places in the military – Hawaii, Australia, Korea, Guam, Japan, Thailand, and Jamaica. But the military is the military. The work isn’t that different at any duty station, just the locations. I really liked Okinawa though.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

I like that PMG is straight-forward, especially my coordinator and project manager. They tell me how it is and I like that. You also get to meet a lot of different people, from different places and different backgrounds. A lot of those people I now call friends…. And PMG keeps me working – I like that too!

What is one thing you miss or wish you could have with you while on the road with PMG?

Not much really. I joined the military when I was 17. I’m used to being on the road. I don’t get to see my kids as much as I’d like, but I can’t complain about much otherwise. I take advantage of the time I get with them when I get it. I’m on the road to do the work and to make life better for them at home.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

My concept, even when I was in the Marines, is treat everybody like you want to be treated and they’ll normally do the same for you.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

I don’t do much besides work, but I am a big sports fan. I try to watch and/or attend as many sporting events as I can. Basketball is my favorite sport. I’m a Lakers fan now because I’m a big Lebron fan. I go where Bron goes.

What is something fun you’re looking forward to in 2020?

I’m getting married in June and I’m looking forward to that. I actually met her on a PMG assignment!

How to Avoid Layoffs

Layoffs can be inevitable. Here are three ways layoffs can hurt your company and three solutions to help eliminate them.

What effects do layoffs have on your company?

Investment

Consider the time and costs associated with hiring and laying off employees.  Recruiting efforts, interviews, internal meetings, on-boarding, training.  Off-boarding, internal meetings, re-distributing work.  Add a 20% reduction in employee performance due to employee job insecurity and you might want to reconsider.

Employee Retention

In general, when companies layoff their people, they are subject to losing trust and productivity in their employees.  If your employees think more layoffs are coming, why should they stay?  In this study, the researchers found that laying off 1% of our workforce can lead to a 31% increase in voluntary turnover the following year.

Brand Reputation

What happens when you are ready to ramp-up again?  Your ability to recruit new or former employees will be limited.  Would you like to hire on with a company that incorporates layoffs as part of their strategy to maximize productivity?   We didn’t think so.

Consider Your Options

Incentives

Think about what motivates your customers to place an order.  Forward thinking companies understand that demand volatility costs money.   Customers who provide ample notice for their specific needs can be rewarded.  For example, if you know Q4 is your busy season, get those orders in by Q2 so you can stay ahead of it. Incentivize your customers to help mitigate future volatility!

Cut Elsewhere

There really is no such thing as free lunch.  Consider ways to reduce overhead costs without leaving your employees in the dark.  If you find yourself sponsoring employee lunches, try and cut back.  Do your employees travel for work often?  Maybe it’s time to reduce the frequency, or monitor spending with a closer eye.  Have you considered reducing hours on a rotating schedule?  Remember, you are a team and your employees want to be part of that team too.

Partner with PMG

PMG has helped manufacturing companies eliminate their need to lay off employees for 20+ years.  By partnering with us, you have a built-in risk management tool.  As a result, be mindful when considering hiring full-time employees.  When the work picks up, bring in one or more of our skilled technicians, from our diverse roster, for whatever duration you need.  We are flexible, our technicians are highly skilled and we want to make sure you meet your customers’ demands on time without over-hiring.

Connect with PMG!

 

About the Authors

Picture of Tess Dailey

Tess Dailey, Client Solutions Manager

Picture of Kelly Grohowski

Kelly Grohowski, Client Solutions Manager

W-4 Form Changes

The Who, What, Why, Where, and How of the New W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Certificate)

What has changed?

  • Form W-4 is now titled as Employee’s Withholding Certificate for years 2020 onward.
  • This new W-4 form has been simplified and is more straight forward for both employers and employees.

Why did the W-4 form change?

  • In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect. The revised W-4 form reflects tax code changes from this act.

Who do the changes affect?

  • Employees hired as of January 1, 2020, at a new place of employment or with a new employer, will need to complete the new W-4 form.
  • Employees with a 2019 (or earlier version) of the W-4 on file with a current employer, are not required to complete the new W-4 form.
    • Note: if you fall into this category and you would like to adjust your withholding, you will need to complete the new W-4 form

How has it changed?

  • W-4 versions prior to 2020 were tied to personal exemptions and withholding allowances which is no longer the case.
  • The new W-4 form is now one page long with only five steps, of which you only need to complete two.

Required Steps

  • Step 1:
    • Personal information (Name, Social Security Number, Address)
    • Filing status (Single or Married Separate, Married Jointly, or Head of Household)
  • Step 5: Signature

Optional Steps

  • Step 2:

Complete if you 1) Hold more than one job OR 2) are married, filing jointly and your spouse works

  • Step 3:

Complete if you’d like to claim dependents and take deductions other than the standard deduction

  • Step 4:

Complete should you want extra taxes withheld for any reason

Where to find more information?

If you need more information on the new W-4 form, here are some helpful links:

About the Author

Picture of Kim Mooney

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

Meet Brian B!

Q&A with PMG Machinist Brian B.

picture of Brian B.

How long have you been working in manufacturing?

Since 1994. I’m a machinist – it’s how I think and it’s in my blood. I like it because you can take a chunk of metal and make it into something. You get to be able to see the beginning, make things work, then see it at the end.

What drew you to the trade?

I got out of the air force after four to five years and was doing different kinds of jobs. A friend recommended a company that was hiring. I went there and was hired as a QA inspector. They needed more operators so I jumped into it and pretty much taught myself. It’s all been history ever since.

Have you had any formal training?

Just the school of hard knocks. Started with tool joints for oil pipe. Then a CNC lathe Mori Seiki and I’ve been all self-taught since.

Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Before PMG, I was working for Baker Hughes and I kind of got put in a place where I was doing all prototype stuff. It was interesting because it was pushing things to extremes with the machine, methods and materials. I was always figuring out new things.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

I had my resume on CareerBuilder and I’d been getting emails and ignoring them. Then one day, I came home feeling frustrated and unappreciated with where I was working. I was talking to my wife and she asked if there was somewhere else I could work. I said, ‘Well I’ve been getting these emails.’ She encouraged me to call them. Now, I’ve been with them for a year and a half and I’m on my third assignment.

What I like most is first, I have to give a shout out to PMG Project Manager, Laura. She’s the most awesome person I’ve worked with before. She’s amazing. But the different companies I’ve been at have been great too. The people there. The assignment. They’re all great.

Second, I really like the opportunity to have the variety in my work while doing the same thing, if that makes sense. Different machines, processes, materials, components, industries. All of it.

Lastly, I like that, when you go a place on vacation, you see things but you don’t get to BE there. When you go on a PMG assignment, you get to BE there and it’s great. It’s exciting and I love it. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had anywhere else.

What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road with PMG?

My beautiful wife. We talk several times a day on the phone. We use FaceTime. She helps me pick my next destination so it’s somewhere she’d like to go. Then she’ll come stay for a week or so at some place. I like just seeing different places. Different houses, different places, different stores. It’s always unique. I like seeing it and being part of it. I also like getting out, hiking and just seeing a new area.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

It’s going to sound weird but honesty. Right or wrong.  Up or down. As long as you’re honest, it’s always going to be the way to go. Machining specifically – don’t be close minded. Listen to other people and look at things differently. You can always find a better way to do things even if you’ve done it the same way a hundred times before.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

I like being outside. Hiking, getting on the nature trails. Just sightseeing the natural world.

What is PMG ReTool?

It’s on our business cards, webinars, email signatures, and blog bylines, but what is ReTool?  Simple question, we know, but the answer is anything but simple because ReTool is a lot of things.

History of ReTool

ReTool started in January 2017 with a question. PMG, like all those working in the manufacturing sector, was aware of the growing skills gap in technical trades and wanted to know what we could do to address it. Our answer was ReTool and a new PMG team was born.

The mission of ReTool is to address the growing skills gap in manufacturing by creating partnerships with military and technical institutions that allow PMG to beneficially develop skilled talent and deliver it to the manufacturers who need it around America. Three years after its inception, that mission is still going strong AND growing.

By the beginning of 2020, ReTool will have connected with over a thousand technical programs at hundreds of technical schools, community colleges, and military installations around the country. From career fairs and employer tables to classroom and virtual presentations, we bring the message of gainful employment opportunities in manufacturing (and with PMG) to the millennial masses and encourages them to pursue them.

ReTool Partners with Nepris

ReTool is not only adjusting the way PMG recruits and places talent, but it also functions as the industry advocates and outreach experts at PMG. As industry advocates, we connect with younger generations, creates excitement for a career in technical trades, and helps make sure the skills gap isn’t a recurring problem for our industry. A major partner in this endeavor has been Nepris whose platform has allowed PMG to connect with over 1400 students, in almost 100 classrooms, across 13 states, in just over a year.

Free Online Resources

However, it’s not good to push people into this industry, especially if they aren’t coming in with the tools they need to succeed. That is why, in support of its other efforts, ReTool has become the defacto education arm of PMG too. This education is provided in a multitude of ways:

  • Expert blogs on topics like Phone Interview Tips 
  • Free Webinars covering information such as soft skills and their importance in technical trades
  • Monthly newsletters regarding things like what changes Industry 4.0 may bring to manufacturing

All resources are free to access, download, and playback on demand.

Connect with ReTool

Regardless of the medium, we want to make sure the next generation of workforce arrives, not only able to get hired, but capable of staying hired AND thriving throughout their career in this industry.

If you’re wondering how to address the skills gap at your company and would like to see if some of what we do with ReTool would work for you, please check out our website at www.pmgservices.com. You can also connect with our team by emailing retoolrecruiting@pmgservices.com .

 

Photo of PMG ReTool Team

Meet Rodney

 

Meet this month’s employee spotlight, Rodney, a PMG Manufacturing Tech working his fourth PMG project. Learn more about him in the Q&A session below!

How long have you been working in manufacturing?

I used to work military law enforcement and then got into security for contract projects at manufacturers. Then, I got myself onto the production side in some positions with labor dispute projects about 10 years ago. I did replacement work for a long time before getting into contract projects. My first PMG project was last year.

What drew you to the trade?

I really enjoy doing things that keep me busy and let me do things I’m good at. I like to do things that produce something I can look at and say I did that, I made that. I like the travel, the production, not being bored, the money, and learning. I like all of it.

Have you had any formal training?

Most of my manufacturing training has been on-the-job training. I’m kind of a jack-of-all-trades. I started with home improvement working with a friend. I really do a little bit of everything and like continuing to pick up new knowledge and training while I’m working.

Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Working at American Crystal Sugar in North Dakota, I was the Lime Kiln Foreman and I cross-trained a lot of positions. Over the course of 12 months, you learn every single thing about the process of how a sugar beet comes out of the ground and then turns into granulated sugar after so many different steps. You would never think so much was involved and so many different products were made just to make the packet you get at Starbucks. Otherwise, maybe guarding VIPs in Honduras when I was in the military.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

The interactions. There is more interaction with this company than any company I’ve worked for before. I’ve never worked for a company that is this hands-on. It’s not the kind of hands-on that is trying to keep tabs or something; it’s the kind that disseminates information down the chain. Here, the guy at the bottom is going to hear from the top when they do a good job and I appreciate that. When you do a good job for a company and actually get appreciated for that, it’s the best and I appreciate that. When I have a question, it gets addressed, always from all departments. Project Management, payroll… you guys are just awesome. I’m truly lucky to work for PMG and I don’t want to work for anybody else. PMG does what it can to make things possible and comfortable. PMG is like a support mechanism. All I have to do is a good job and everything else is you guys (PMG).

What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road?

I wish I could do the work I do, get the pay I get and have it be closer to home, but after being in the military, you get used to it.

How do you balance your career at PMG and family?

If you’re in a relationship and you have a decent foundation, you can make this work. It’s also the best knowing that you have the option to travel with your significant other.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

Some of the best career lessons I’ve gotten was from the military and I’ve carried it on. I’m used to people being where they’re supposed to be and doing what they’re supposed to do when they’re supposed to do it. We’re all in this together and the more we help each other, the better we all do. Team work needs a team.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

At home, I have twin 3-year old grandsons and they’re a handful. I spend a lot of time with them and with my fiance. I belong to and am involved with an ELK lodge at home. I like a good card game, a good pool game and I’m the master at dominoes. I’m a die-hard Patriots fan. When I’m out on a job, I like to keep it business. I take advantage of things at the hotel like the hot tub or grilling, but that’s about it when I’m working.

What is something fun you’re looking forward to in 2019?

My fiance and I are moving into our first home together this December and I haven’t seen my mom in almost 3 years. I’m planning on surprising her with a visit this winter after my current project wraps up.

 

In honor of Veteran’s Day this month, we’d like to send a special thanks to Rodney for his time in the service. We’d also like to thank the other men and women at PMG who’ve served in our country’s armed forces.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Employee Spotlight

Meet Autumn!

This month’s employee spotlight features Autumn, a Sales Administrator Assistant at PMG who joined the team less than one year ago.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My family and I relocated to Minnesota 5 years ago from New York City. My husband was presented with an amazing job opportunity that was too good to pass up. We came here not knowing a soul. It was a big adjustment, but now I cannot imagine living anywhere else. We have two kids, ages 8 and 4 and a fur-baby who is also 4. I grew up in both New York and Florida. I worked in Advertising, specifically in Human Resources, for 10 years before moving here. I took a few years off to be a stay at home mom before re-entering the corporate workforce here at PMG.

How long have you worked at PMG?

Since April 2019, I started my full-time role just last week.

What are your main responsibilities?

To support the Lead Generation and Sales teams.

What do you like most about your job?

It feels really good to be back in the corporate world after a 5-year hiatus. Just being in a routine and having responsibilities other than my children has been really refreshing.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

Even though I am remote, I have been able to come into the office a few times and I really love everyone I have met. I have always worked for huge companies with over 500 people. It is really nice to work somewhere smaller that has a more family feel.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I am a certified Nutrition Counselor, so I usually have several clients that I am working with in my spare time. I love to run and ride my bike outside when weather permits. I am also a big travel junkie.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Italy. I’ve been twice, once in my early 20s and just this past March with the whole family. The culture of Italy is like nothing I have ever experienced. The people are so present and low-key. When we were there in March, we took our kids to a big park in Milan. There were easily 50 families there and not a SINGLE parent or child had a cellphone on them. It blew me away. Same for people at restaurants, not a single phone in sight. Everyone takes their time and just enjoys being with one another. Oh and of course, the food is the best too!

What did you want to be when growing up?

News Reporter/weather woman, I have no idea why or when that even changed, ha!

You’re happiest when…

…I’m relaxing with my family.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Don’t be intimidated by all the manufacturing lingo, most people who work here did not have a manufacturing background. It really overwhelmed me when I first started.

What animal describes the “work you”?

Well this is a first! I guess I’d have to say a duck, ha! Ducks fly together for the good of the group and I strongly believe in team work and collaboration.

Why Use Labor Solutions?

Current estimates say that American companies employ over 17 million temporary employees across all industries. At PMG, we get asked daily why companies choose our labor solutions to address their needs in lieu of more traditional direct-hire models. Here are some of the most common answers we’ve found:

Workforce Flexibility

Many industries see a seasonal fluctuation in their business model and labor solutions provide the ability to address fluctuations with less stress for both the company and workforce. This flexibility allows them to adjust more quickly and productively to changes in their order or production cycles.

“My clients choose us for project-based work, avoiding the reputation in their area as being the company that hires then fires after their busy season.”

– Jessica, PMG Client Solutions Manager

Short-term Replacements

Whether it is family leave, vacation, sabbaticals, or unexpected medical situations, life still happens in business. PMG’s model helps companies deal productively with the unexpected. Sometimes that may simply mean slower than wanted ramp up times. We can help with that too.

“Our company started utilizing PMG’s services to be a placeholder for our current skilled trade positions while we recruited. Although we’ve made direct hires, we would still use PMG’s technicians.”

– PMG Client

Cost Effective

Overtime costs add up, both in impact to the bottom line and to employee burnout. Many companies see reduced management and HR costs. The less time your employees spend hiring, firing, and training people, the more time they can spend on producing.

“My clients choose us because they can save significantly on direct employee overtime, while avoiding burnout and allowing their internal resources to focus on their primary job duties.”

– Justin, PMG Client Solutions Manager

Skills Gaps

The more remotely located the business, the more difficult the path is to growth. Temporary solutions give companies an easier way to walk that path and allow businesses to not be limited to their local talent pools.

“We have leveraged skilled resources from PMG to bridge gaps in production due to the lack of qualified resources in our region and to meet spikes in production.”

– PMG Client

Labor Crisis

If a company is facing a labor dispute situation, a natural disaster, or a major facility issue, temporary solutions are often the only solutions. Whether your goal is maintaining production, temporarily relocating work sites, or disaster clean up, PMG provides the contingency planning and technicians to help any manufacturer avert worst case scenarios, survive crisis, and thrive in future business.

 

Are you in need or interested in learning more about labor solutions?

Contact our Client Solutions Team today!

 

About the Author

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

July Employee Spotlight

Meet Wallace!

Wallace is an Operations Specialist and Pipeline Development Coordinator at PMG who joined the team three years ago.

What are your main responsibilities as an Operations Associate/Pipeline Development Coordinator?

I meet with clients and help them build a strategic plan in case of a work stoppage. Also, I gather information needed by our internal recruiting team to find the right talent. If a work stoppage occurs, I will support our Project management team from a corporate level.

How did you learn about the opportunity with PMG?

Through an old coworker that started working with PMG and thought I would also like working here. She was correct.

What do you like most about your job?

Facility tours with clients.  My Job is like the show “How It’s Made” but in real life.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

The people and the culture. When it’s busy and we have to work a weekend, often the president of the company will come in and help make calls or pick up lunch for the team. It’s hard to find leadership like that in any role and to see it at the top is pretty special.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

When it’s warm out, I like playing softball, golf and tennis.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Any place that has custom, or niche manufacturing process or products.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

Gary Vaynerchuk

What did you want to be when growing up?

Stuntman

You’re happiest when…

…on a golf course.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Learn how your role plays into the product\service that PMG provides our customers.

What animal describes the “work you”?

Polar Bear

Meet Richard

Meet Richard Y., a Diesel Assembly Technician and Mechanic at PMG. Richard is currently working his fourth project at PMG. Learn more about him in the Q&A session below!

Q&A with Richard

How long have you been working in manufacturing?

I have been working in manufacturing for a little over a year now.

What drew you to the trade?

Being able to work with my hands. I love building stuff and knowing how they work.

Have you had any formal training?

Yes. I have 8 years experience as a heavy equipment mechanic.

Before working at PMG, what was the most interesting job you’ve ever had?

Working as a detention officer. It was very demanding.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

Traveling and meeting new people.

What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road?

Being able to cook in a full size kitchen.

How do you balance your career at PMG and family?

I take time off during the holidays to spend time with family.

What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

Always have an open mind. There’s a lot you can learn from each job that you take on.

When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy doing things outside. Hiking, camping, mountain biking, and also exploring new places.

What is something fun you’re looking forward to in 2019?

Hopefully exploring more of the east coast while working with PMG.