Swissturn USA combines on-the-job and online training to prepare workers
Malcolm Nierodzinski, 31
Swiss machinist at Swissturn USA, Oxford
What he does: Uses Swiss machines to create a variety of precision parts and products
Thrill seeker: Loves all power sports, including dirt bikes, four-wheelers, and driving his Jeep offroad
High standards for quality
Swissturn USA in Oxford is another manufacturing company working toward the adoption of a formal apprenticeship. President Kenneth Mandile said the company already uses a mix of on-the-job and online training to bring workers up to speed.
“What we want to do is formalize it and make sure every employee has a plan to make sure we’ve developed them as far as they want to go and as far as we need them to go,” Mandile said. “It’s very hard to find skilled help.”
Mandile said the company hires many workers who studied machining at technical schools, but they need additional training in the specific demands of Swissturn’s machines, as well as standardized work instructions and documentation. For some workers, he said, soft skills like punctuality and workplace housekeeping can be an issue as well.
“Just because they’re younger and earlier in their career, they may not understand as well,” he said.
Even without being a formal part of the state apprenticeship program, Swissturn has already helped its employees grow on the job. Malcolm Nierodzinski, a Swiss machinist there, found the job after switching careers and taking an eight-week MassMEP course on machining.
Kenneth Mandile, president of Oxford manufacturer Swissturn USA, which is adopting a formal apprenticeship program
“It was very, very challenging, which I’ve always appreciated,” Nierodzinski said. “To be able to take that blank piece of stock and turn it into pretty much whatever your mind can come up with.”
Nierodzinski said he prides himself on having high standards for quality, and on continuing to push himself to learn more. After almost four years on the job, he said, he’s continuing to learn new things from his coworkers, and he’s never bored.
“There’s absolutely no hindrance of progression, and they embrace and nurture growing within the company and personally as well,” he said. “I look forward to the future, and I definitely see a bright one here. I have so much to learn, and I have learned so much.” ◾