Niche Positions at PMG

Are you struggling to fill niche manufacturing positions in your production facility? Are you tired of seeing your numbers suffer because of it? PMG is well-known across manufacturing for the quality of our machinists, welders, and multi-craft maintenance technicians. However, we’re more than just the “Big Three”. We can provide quality oriented, proven tradespeople to fill any need in any production facility, no matter how niche. Here are three more PMG specialty positions you should be aware of.

Inspectors

From Quality Control to Quality Assurance to Quality Inspection, PMG has technicians that can help streamline the inspection process for any manufacturer.

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

Whether working in aerospace to NAS410 standards, military projects where MIL-Spec is still king, or oil & gas environments under API specifications, PMG has NDT Technicians that travel with their own certifications and have plenty of on-the-job hours in their logbook for any inspection method necessary. If you’d like to read more about NDT, check out some of the articles in Quality Magazine.

Mechanical Inspectors

Does your production process need inspectors capable of performing inspections on individual mechanical components? Do you require techs with experience inspecting full assemblies? Whether your need is for aviation, medical components, or electronic systems, our technicians have the experience.

Chemical Inspectors

Is your company testing batches for the chemical industry? Are you maintaining compliance to FDA regulations for a food production facility? Perhaps, you’re performing product audits for a medical manufacturer. Our Chemical Inspectors have experience working in industries with some the strictest requirements.

Engineers

Engineers are part of every step of production. Our engineers can help any company at any pinch point in their process.

Mechanical & Electrical Design Engineers

Is your company strong on product development, but slow to bring these innovations to production? PMG Design Engineers can help bring your R&D ideas to life whether it be on the drafting table or via CAD/CAM models.

Controls Engineers

Have you recently made repairs or improvements to your production systems? Controls Engineers can help design, install, and maintain those systems to get them, and keep them, up and running. From mechanical drives to PLCs, PMG Engineers can fill your control system quandaries.

Reliability Engineer

Your product is built to stand the test of time and your test systems should be too. From durability testing to product life cycle audits, PMG has a Reliability Engineer that you can rely on to help improve your prove outs.

Programmers

One good programmer can keep a lot of skilled tradesmen producing quality parts and components. Due to this fact, programmers are one of the positions most affected by the skills gap currently complicating American manufacturing. It doesn’t matter what programming problem your shop may have, PMG can provide highly skilled technicians to keep your production floor operating at maximum efficiency.

Machine Tool Programmers

Regardless of what machine you have sitting idle, it’s not making money if you can’t keep it running. PMG programmers are skilled with all machine tool program languages from common (G&M Code and Conversational) to exotic (SurfCam and Unigraphics).

CMM Programmers

Most companies utilize Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) in their inspection process to save time and money. However, there is little profit present in downtime if you can’t “teach” your machine to inspect new offerings. PMG CMM programmers are experienced in systems from PC-DMIS to Calypso and can keep your QA/QC process profitable.

 

If you are experiencing production gaps and backlogs at your facility, Connect with PMG to learn how our solutions can help you.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

Meet Jim W.

Q&A with PMG Project Manager Jim W.

picture of project manager Jim W.

Meet Jim, a Project Manager who’s been with PMG’s Operation Team for three years.

What brought you to PMG?

I started as a diesel mechanic. Then, I spent 25 years as a high-speed packaging mechanic before I got into coordinating projects. In 2017, I was the PMG Operations Manager’s last choice for project manager, but he gave me a chance and I’ve been on a PMG project somewhere ever since.

Have you had any formal training?

I was working at a landfill as a laborer when our diesel mechanic quit and gave me his toolbox on the way out the door. Suddenly, I was in maintenance. I spent a lot of time reading the manual those first few years, but I haven’t had much formal training other than health and safety stuff. I can teach classes on the health and safety stuff now.

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

I was the general ops manager for the bankruptcy court in Huntington, WV. I had to run 12 bankrupt cemeteries in three states that didn’t even have enough money to cut the grass.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

The support I get from my team, hands-down. I get all the support I need whenever; there’s not a time of day or night I can’t get what I need. 24/7, it’s always there. You don’t get a true team supporting you as a manager like this at other places.

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

Squirrel and Gravy. Even if you buy an out of state license, you still can’t hunt them in the hotel parking lot! But seriously, I miss being in the country the most, especially when hunting season rolls around. Nonetheless, I like what I’m doing so I don’t miss it too bad.

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

I love to hunt. I have a taxidermist shop. I’ve been a taxidermist for more than 30 years and I’ve mounted everything from mice to moose.

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

The next job. It’s always fun and always going to be something different.

How to Survive a 12-Hour Shift

Successfully Surviving a 12-Hour Shift

Across America, many companies are moving to longer shift schedules for their employees. In the manufacturing sector, 12-hour shifts have already been common for decades and PMG employees are very familiar with finding ways to work them successfully.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly make it through a work schedule that accounts for half of the total time available in a day, here are some tips and tricks for surviving a 12-hour shift.

Professionalism

two production workers working together

Get Your Mind Right

A 12-hour shift is 50% longer than an 8-hour one. You have to start each shift with the right mindset. If not, it will feel longer and get more dangerous.

“The long hours can wear on you mentally…so you need to show up wanting to be there and focused on safety, of course.”

Dan O. – Welder

 You Can Always Teach or Learn

There’s always a chance of downtime during production. The question is, what do you do with it? Passing along knowledge is a great way to pass time.

“Twelve-hour shifts are much shorter if you’re busy so help others with their work or just clean up.”

Jeff C. – Maintenance

Don’t Forget What You’re Working For

The good part is long hours equal large paychecks.

“An old road dog told me not to ever forget what you’re doing this for…money.”

Jeff C. – Maintenance

Physical Condition

inspector working on an oil pump

Elements & Conditions

The work is one thing, but the situation you’re working in is an entirely different thing to consider.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re ready for the job; if you’re not ready for the weather, the wrong clothing can ruin a job.”

Jason H. – Operations Manager

Battery Life

Your tools won’t work if the battery is dead and neither will your body. Taking sleep seriously is a must for surviving long shifts.

“The people that struggle the least with long hours are the ones that get enough sleep the night before.”

Kim M. – Technical Manager

Fill Your Tank

If you’re making a trip in your car, you need enough fuel in the tank to get there. The same thing goes for your body. Eating and drinking right is imperative.

“You have to make sure your body is ready for it with plenty of nutrition and hydration.”

Dan O. – Welder

Mental Condition

machine operator working on a CNC machine

Environment

The nature of production facilities means some can be less than stimulating and some tasks can get repetitive. Often, the best cure for this is a simple change of perspective.

“Adjust your vision periodically, meaning don’t stare at the same thing constantly. It’s a small thing, but it can go a long way.”

Jason H. – Operations Manager

 Smaller Time Blocks

Production runs, especially big ones, can deal with some daunting numbers. Thus, the best way to attack them is often in smaller chunks.

“I like to set short incremental goals. Cutting a cycle time for a part down from eight minutes to seven can result in substantial savings on a 1000-piece run and it makes the day go faster working in shorter time frames.”

Dan C. – Machinist

Prioritize Appropriately

The more you put on your plate, the easier it is to get overwhelmed. Make sure your checklist is in good working order.

“Our best techs all have a lot they could do. They learn how to recognize what needs to be done, compared to what they’d like done, and then set their work accordingly.”

Kim M. – Technical Manager 

 

The next time you have a long shift, or mandatory over-time come up, don’t dread it. Rather, try using some of these tips from our employees to help you prepare to not only survive your shift, but shine during it. If you think you’ve already got 12-hour days down, then maybe consider a position with PMG.

 

Check out our website to learn more about open positions http://www.pmgservices.com/.

 

About the Author

Head shot of Josh Erickson

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

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.