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AHT Named 2018 Employer of Choice

Advanced Heat Treat Corp (AHT) was named an Employer of Choice by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

posted On Tuesday, September 4, 2018 in Blog

The below article appeared in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier's Employer of Choice special edition on September 2, 2018. You can view the original article here.

AHT Named 2018 Employer of Choice

Employee Longevity Cherished at Advanced Heat Treat Corp.

WATERLOO, IA — Jennifer Lassen believes she works at one of “the Cedar Valley’s best kept secrets.”

“Three years ago, when I applied for my position, I had never heard of AHT and had no knowledge of what they did,” she said.

Today, she now knows AHT’s provides heat treat services and metallurgical solutions touch everything from pins in pacemakers to vehicle steering columns and even “jaws of life” equipment. The company’s products and processes cross several industries, and its client list spans the globe.

“AHT truly cares about employee quality of life, always encouraging family first,” said Lassen. “Many benefits are provided, such as competitive wages, extremely lucrative (paid time off structure), ongoing professional training and tuition reimbursement.”

AHT’s investment in human resources is a foundational principle of founder and CEO Gary Sharp, displayed at the company’s headquarters: “Loyal people are at the heart of Advanced Heat Treat Corp. Working at AHT means a lot more than just starting work and earning a paycheck. Employment signifies a commitment — commitment from you to the company and a life commitment from the company to you.”

Adam Dehl has worked at AHT for 22 years and said he can’t imagine working anywhere else.

“(AHT) consistently practices our ‘core values’ of service, integrity, loyalty, teamwork, passion and professionalism,” he said. “These values are a way of life at AHT.”

When Dehl started at AHT, he was especially appreciative of benefits and perks that weren’t a norm at many industrial companies.

“The flexibility of schedule and vacation package are fantastic,” he explained. “The way they allow for work/home balance is the only way I go through having young kids. … Being able to come to work and know that you matter to your company is priceless.”

Dehl is among many employees who have stayed with AHT for more than a decade. For relative newcomers like Lassen, such longevity is a cherished goal.

“Over 25 percent of the workforce has been with the company 15 years or more — a testament to how great AHT is,” said Lassen.

In addition, AHT doesn’t have a “zero tolerance” attendance policy. Things happen, and Woods wants employees to know their employer is behind them through it all.

“Our family environment and employee base has been an integral part of our success over the years,” said Woods. “Our flexible work schedule and diverse product mix allow teammates the opportunity to grow and expand their careers.”

Founded in Waterloo in 1981, AHT is now recognized as a world leader in heat treatment and specializes in plasma/ion nitriding, noted Mikel Woods, president.

Over the years, the company has set industry standards through the use of finely calibrated equipment and controlled laboratory conditions.

“Because the work and equipment used is so unique, all employees are trained from the ground up,” she explained.

Employees typically start as general laborers, equipment operators and heat treat technicians. AHT sponsors those who wish to advance to metallurgy and laboratory positions.

The majority of the company’s operations are in Waterloo, where it houses more than 100 employees at two sites. The remaining 65 to 70 employees work at facilities in Monroe, Mich., and Cullman, Ala.

The company moved to its corporate headquarters on Midport Boulevard in the late 1990s.

In early 2018, it announced its first addition to this building — a 15,000-square-foot expansion. The project cost is $2 million, with more than $230,000 in tax credits and refunds from Iowa Economic Development Authority Board.

The new space will allow AHT to increase its product lines, providing more reach into the plastics, energy, construction, agriculture and aerospace industries. Once up and running, the expansion will add 12 jobs.

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