Usui International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Usui Kokusai Kaisha LTD, Mishima Japan. Usui is primarily an auto parts manufacturing company with manufacturing locations throughout the world. The Chesapeake Virginia location is supplying many leading Auto manufacturers with a heavy emphasis on diesel fuel lines for on road vehicles as well as off road, construction, agriculture, and stationary power. They have been located in Virginia since 1990 with steady growth over the past (24) years. Their current employment is 380 personnel made up of manufacturing Associates, Administration, Accounting, Sales, Engineers and Quality control personnel.
Usui started using TCC WFS for their training needs over three years ago when Chesapeake Economic Development suggested they contact us for their supervisory and other training needs.
We spoke with Nikki Herndon, Manager of Administration at Usui International about their training experiences with TCC WFS and here's what she had to say:
What made you decide or realize that you needed supervisory training?
Almost all of our supervisors were placed in a supervisory position due to their experience in the area they worked in. We were at a point in manufacturing where business increased dramatically and we needed to have people experienced with the product in a leadership role. As we increased in ‘head count’ though, so did our ‘daily employee problems’; thus, Supervisor training was born.
Why have you chosen to continue this training for the past three summers?
My supervisors were hungry for training and knowledge and how to resolve situations that arose in their areas daily. Their response both personally and professionally to the 1st training proved to me that we needed this type of training annually for our production leadership.
What is the benefit that you've seen from this training?
The most important benefit from this training is that each supervisor realizes their potential as a supervisor and their worth to their department as a supervisor. That always transcends into their “worth” on a personal basis. Every issue they resolve in their department, whether it be an employee problem, daily schedule, or material shortage, shows that they have trusted themselves with making a decision. Some decisions will get harder, some will become easier. The important thing is that they trusted themselves to step forward and make the decision.
What's the feedback from employees who undergo training?
Most of them say “thank you, we needed this”, some say “I like that we as supervisors get this one on one time with each other to work through problems in a group setting”.
How critical is the fact that the training is provided on-site?
Supervisors are our life line, so it is very critical to have classes on site, where [if needed] the supervisor can be found by a Group Leader to solve ‘situations’ that may arise. My future goal is to have a “supervisor or leadership summit” at some point where the supervisors go off site – even just for one day/night – training all day, we pay for the hotel and food and they get time to be away from the job (sort of!).
How relevant is the material provided and how relatable are the instructors?
Both trainers we have had for our training have been outstanding. The material provided in this year’s training is exceptional. Our supervisors have workbooks and homework – that always means better retention. Plus, they have their workbooks to go back to for any notes they may have jotted down for future use.
Will you continue using TCC WFS as your training provider?
Yes we will. I am interested in the Mechatronics courses at TCC. We may want to send some of our maintenance personnel to these classes.
Would you recommend this or other TCC WFS training to other high-tech and manufacturing companies?
Michael Todd Estes
Interim Associate Vice President for Business & Corporate Solutions
Director of TCC Apprenticeship Institute