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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 18, 2017     Feather River Bulletin
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October 18, 2017

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 7A Sierra Pacific Industries hosted an Oct. 12 workforce development tour of the lumber mill's operations for Plumas County job trainers and specialists. The Quincy mill is recruiting for several career openings. Photos by Roni Java SPI, from page 1A The tour covered the industrial lumber manufacturing facility's various work areas, maintenance shop and career opportunities. Attendees asked a lot of questions and learned about job expectations, skill requirements, pay scales, training and advancement within the plant. SPI is a third-generation, family-owned business with 14 divisions, or plant locations, throughout California, Washington and Wisconsin. The company has 5,000 employees overall and is based in Northern California. Supervisors and staff on the tour emphasized that SPI employees feel like family -- and they said the owners treat them that way, too, Above all, they said, people are the key to any successful business. "This is an industrial environment and we are a state-of-the-art automated facility, but everything is all run by a person," Little explained, walking the group along elevated catwalks above the smoothly running machinery, each with a person at the controls. "We welcome skilled job applicants and do work with some technical schools and programs to place their grads," he added, "but we also provide a lot of on-the-job training and many of us here take pride in the fact that we started at the bottom." Allan Cooper, Quincy's large mill superintendent, laughed as he told the tour group, "I started on the hard Jaime Miranda operates a horizontal resaw to reprocess double boards into Single boards. Beginning employees start out in yellow hardhats. The blue hardhat is a symbol of prestige at the mill, received only after a worker completes his or ler first 90 days and is promoted to permanent employee status with benefits. end of a shovel myself. The benefits, and goes up from no-substance use greatest majority of our there. SPI prides itself on requirement. workers will start that way, offering good wages and Molly Baker provides on cleanup and on graveyard affordable health benefits, support for the human shift, doing a very important Applicants must apply inresources office of SPI at the job. You do need fortitude for person and be prepared to Quincy plant. She, too, this work." participate in a 45-minute started with the company by SPI and the Peace Corps' screening interview to learn working nights cleaning up may have more in commbn exactly what is needed to be debris and wood chips as an than they realize -- both live able to do the job for which entry-level laborer. up to the corps' first they are applying. "We're looking for people recruiting slogan established References will be checked, who want more than a job -- in 1961, "The toughest job Not every jobseeker needs a people who want a career you'll ever love." lot of experience to apply -- and to be part of the SPI The mill is now hiring for six months of a solid work family," Baker said. "There entry-level positions, history is important, and you are many opportunities with millwrights, equipment must be 18 or older, us and employees can work operators, logging truck The number one their way up to a job that drivers and industrial requirement is that meets their interests. I'd electricians, applicants must be available shovel for my whole shift and Heavy-equipment operators to work any shift, and that then see what other people's are always welcome to apply, means swing, graveyard or jobs were like. On my breaks, too. days. Starting pay is $17.40 an Right up there with hour for laborers, plus number one is the , $ Saturday, Oct. g at 8 a=m= 79 Church St., Quincy Everything. must go! No reasonable offer refused Call Keith for more information or an appointment (530) 864-6987 283-9318 535 LAWRENCE The debarking machine is a fascinating first stop on the SPI plant tour. Huge logs are hauled up by conveyer and threaded through the powerful heads that crack and remove stubborn bark -- seemingly as easily as shelling peanuts. my lunches, after work andthey have some welding on my days off, I'd go and training, etc., we may or may talk to the people doing a job not put them in as a trainee that looked interesting to me. right away," Flesuras said. I'd job-shadow them and "But we're gonna keep an eye learn how they did their on them and see how they do. work. Gradually, the We can teach the skills to do supervisors would let me try the work, but we can't teach my hand at this part of the initiative and make a person job and that." be safety aware. They have to Baker explained that after show us that themselves. We about three to nine months, a really promote from within." laborer can often promote to Baker from human an opening doing a different resources agreed. job. That's what she did, and "We do have trainee got her first promotion out of positions, but the great thing the labor pool to run some of about SPI is that even if you the mill's equipment. Each had no opportunity to go to new employee can start school or get an applying to move up from his apprenticeship, for example, or her first day. you can still start here," she Tom Flesuras is the plant's said. "Even in high school, maintenance supervisor and you can learn to have :: ::, a long-time employee who initiative and be a hard ..... also worked his way up from worker." the entry level. Next summer, the mill "I look for an employee anticipates offering an with a real safety awareness, internship-style program for a detail-oriented person," high school seniors. The Flesuras told the workforce program is still in the tour group. "Maintenance is planning stages and if all the front line for (potentially) works out well, the student getting hurt. I want someone employees would have a who's gonna think before chance to learn about career they act, someone who has opportunities and receive learned the steps to do the guidance about the job and follows them without importance of having a good me needing to babysit them. work ethic and being on So it's good to start at time. cleanup and work up to Closing out the tour and chasing repairs with the summing up Sierra Pacific's maintenance shop." commitment to Plumas What about workers who County job creation, Little already have some training, said, "We have almost 300 experience or skills in a people at the Quincy particular area? Division, so we've probably "If somebody comes to us got a spot for you." and puts on their app that SheetS. Mattresses Pillows, Protectors Frames Futons ST., QUINCY