On Thursday, September 9, 2021
On September 5, 2021, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier published their "Employers of Choice" recipients. View the original publication and other winners here.
Walking the 'Purple Path' to 40 Years
Human Resources painting a wall before a customer visits…
Finance extinguishing a controlled fire…
IT loading and unloading parts on the shop floor…
Sound a little atypical for those positions? Not at Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT).
The company which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, prides itself on its “AHT Family Core Values” – one of their core values being teamwork.
Marketing Manager Lindsey Newcomb commented, “It is not uncommon to see people helping out in other departments or for a supervisor or manager to be working next to a new entry-level employee. At AHT, it isn’t about siloed departments or hierarchy – it’s about being a team and having everyone’s best interests in mind.”
The Purple Path
AHT recently implemented “The Purple Path”, an initiative that reinforces teamwork and professional growth. Employees are encouraged to learn other aspects of the business aside from their primary roles, to attend trainings to learn new skills sets, to help out other departments & AHT locations, etc. Training & Development Manager Jennifer Lassen commented, “It’s been a win-win for morale, professional development and meeting production needs.”
The “Purple Path” has also been a catalyst for many recent advancements at AHT.
Promotions From Within
Mike Sellers, Aerospace Process Coordinator and an AHT employee since 2007, commented “I started out as a part-time employee while taking college classes, and received opportunities to move up within the company over the years. It really isn’t a surprise that we have so many workers that have been here for 10+ years.”
In fact, over 53% of AHT’s full-time employees have been there for over 10 years.
Gayla Hoppenworth, an AHT employee since 2005 commented, “Being a niche market, a large number of AHT’s employees join the team with no previous heat treat experience. Some employees are referred by their friends or family. Some join part-time while going to school, appreciating AHT’s flexibility with their school schedule. Some start thinking it’ll be a temporary position, but once they’re here, the majority of our employees stay for a very long time and become experts in their fields.”
BBQs, Cornhole Tournaments & More
Joel Robinson, EHS/CI Manager and an employee since 2001, also attributes employee loyalty to AHT’s competitive benefits and the fun events they have year-round.
Every year, the company holds an employee appreciation week, a tailgating-themed event, safety training, continuous improvement kick-offs, a wellness challenge and various other team activities and outings. In the past, AHT has sponsored golf tournaments, baseball games, and more.
“I like to volunteer for AHT events. It allows me to use my creativity and work outside of the accounting department. The best part is watching the employees have fun and seeing who has a little bit of a competitive side” commented Shannon Conaway, Purchasing/Accounts Payable Coordinator and an AHT employee since 1998.
Flexible Work Schedules
While AHT strives to make work fun, they also realize that work life-balance is important. AHT’s flexibility allows for parents to attend children’s sporting events, students to keep their education a priority, and retired individuals to make some extra income – to name a few examples.
David Erbele, an employee since 2018, added “You don’t have to wait to build up vacation time. This makes the first year of employment much easier.” Semir Duric, a newer employee, echoed the same sentiment stating that it is nice to get vacation time earlier, compared to other employers.
Heat Treating Parts from Aerospace, Firearms, Automotive & More
Another aspect of the job that stands out to employees is the work itself. Over AHT’s 40 years of business, they’ve seen some interesting projects come through their doors. Employees have heat treated parts that go into airplanes, farm equipment, vehicles and even on the Mars rover.
AHT generally heat treats parts to strengthen the metal - to protect it from wear, corrosion and fatigue, but in the case of the Mars rover, the purple-colored heat treat process called ‘ion nitriding’ actually protects the titanium sample tubes from contamination, ensuring that the samples are not compromised and making the samples tubes, as NASA stated, “the cleanest set of components humankind has ever launched into space.”
For those interested in applying, please visit www.ahtjobs.com for a list of available job openings and additional details.