On Thursday, September 8, 2022
Q&As with Jen Lassen
You started with AHT in October of 2015. You didn’t initially start as our Manager of Training & Development, so please tell us about your journey here at AHT.
I came to AHT with 20+ years of practical management/training experience but wanted to get into Human Resources. I started out as assistant to Gayla, our HR manager. About a year in, I was promoted to HR Coordinator and became the onsite HR presence at our Burton Avenue facility. Gayla and I shared HR responsibilities across our four plants. In 2020, my focus shifted to include more direct responsibility over our formal training programs for employees/management and use of technology for training. That’s when I became the Manager of Training and Development. I’m still heavily involved with recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, and general HR.
It seems that AHT places emphasis on professional development and often promotes from within the organization. Can you tell us a few examples of this?
Absolutely! One of the things I love about AHT is the opportunity to create your own destiny! All of our supervisors started out as laborers and most go on to be Operators, Technicians, Sr. Technicians, then Leads, Supervisors, and sometimes managers. There are other avenues outside of management, like roles in Quality, Metallurgy, Maintenance, Sales, etc. Combined with initiative, a career at AHT can really be catered to your strengths, interests, and personality.
Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?
With family and doing things together. Kody and I enjoy weekend adventures with our 4 year old daughter, Parker. Road trips, camping, being outdoors, and making memories. We both love reliving experiences through the eyes of our child(ren). Cade and Quinn are older now (18 &19), but we can still convince them to join us sometimes.
Jen, Parker, Kody, Cade, Quinn
Over 41% of AHT employees have been with the company for 10 years or more. That’s a lot! Why do you think this is?
Time just flies at AHT. It’s an environment of learning and because you spend so much time learning, the years go by before you notice. The family environment and friendships you develop here make it hard to imagine going anywhere else. Our industry is so unique, the training is ground up, we are growing and perfecting what we do every day with help from those who came before us. There is so much experience and expertise in our company. It’s really neat to be a part of it!
While this can change, what positions are you currently hiring for as of 9/8/22?
- Operators on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Shifts
- PT and FT Heat Treat support
- Continuous Improvement Specialist
- Quality Specialist
You can view the job descriptions and apply at www.ahtjobs.com.
What advice/tips would you give to a potential job applicant?
- Not to let the concept of “Heat Treat” intimidate them. It looks nothing like you would expect! Our facilities are clean and safe. Come visit us anytime and see for yourself.
- Do research before your interview, we love it when you have looked at our website or social media and have a basic understanding of what we do. It’s an easy way to impress us!
- We love to see longevity on an application. It says a lot about a person’s character.
What is something people may not know about AHT?
The work our employees do truly makes the world a better and safer place. We treat parts that go in the cars you drive, the planes you fly in, and products you use every day. It’s amazing how far reaching our services go and the industries we provide services for.
What is something people may not know about Jen Lassen?
Personally: I was a state champion pool player in 2019. Our team has taken 2nd place at the state tournament 3 other times.
Professionally: I love meeting people and telling them about our company. I am passionate about our values and culture and try to share with others. Servant leadership is very important to me and that’s why I was so attracted to AHT. When our team can help employees set personal and professional goals and help them achieve those goals, I am most rewarded.
AHT was recently recognized as a 2022 Employer of Choice. Many people mentioned “flexibility” in their nomination. Can you elaborate on that?
AHT has a family-first policy and they mean it. If you have a child with an activity and you need to pick up a few hours the day before to make it to their game tomorrow, no problem! If you are a college student and we need to build your schedule around classes and study time, we will. Our PTO policy is very lucrative for a reason. We know that life is short and there are things you just can’t miss.
What can a new employee expect when they start at AHT?
First paperwork, then safety videos, then a tour of the facility and safety walkthrough. After all the technicalities are out of the way, the learning begins. You will make a lot of friends, too many names to remember… but it won’t be long and you’ll feel like family. Our employee events onsite and offsite, are my favorite.
Now, a list of random questions for you:
- First Job: Farm kid stuff like walking beans and detasseling. Babysitting. Then I worked for a pharmacy, delivering medication to elderly people.
- Favorite Food: Veggie Pizza
- First Concert: Both my parents were music buffs. Rick Springfield when I was 3 years old.
- Most Recent Concert: Alanis Morisette with Garbage at Tinley Park 2021. I’ve been to over 100 major concerts.
- What are your Strengths, according to Gallup? Belief, Responsibility, Connectedness, Consistency, Communication
- Favorite Vacation: Nashville, Memphis, Vegas… I’d still like to get to New Orleans and Austin. Anywhere with live music all the time.
- Sports Team: Iowa Hawkeyes- Go Hawks!
- Favorite Quote: “Every day is an Interview” ~unknown
Have a Question for Jen Lassen? Call her at 319-232-5221.
- meet burton
- meet the team