This afternoon, Sandra received the ICR All Star Award for Advanced Manufacturing. What does this mean? It means that Sandra possesses the character and talents that the sector is seeking as it seeks to grow and expand. As the sector seeks to recruit more employees into its workforce, these types of stories help tell the story of what opportunities can be found within the industry, as well as the underlying values and behaviors that lead to success for the employee and the business. This is not only good for the industry, it’s good for the Corridor and for Iowa.
At Clickstop, we’re very happy to support the creation of jobs in the Corridor. It’s a great place to reside, build a career, grow a family and continue into retirement. Creating these opportunities is a part of our mission, and we recognize that opportunity is created through the collective drive and commitment of the entire team.
We’ve seen this drive in Sandra, and it comes as no surprise that she’d be honored in this way. She is a dedicated team member who has displayed a high level of curiosity in exploring opportunity, and has courageously pursued personal and professional development.
To illustrate what it looks like to seek and create opportunity, we’d like to share her story.
Sandra’s love of manufacturing began at an early age. It was her desire to pursue a career in manufacturing, but she had received advice not to because it would not align with her values. The hours could be very difficult and put a strain on the family, and the opportunities to lead, grow and improve on the people and processes were often limited. So, she enrolled in a nursing program, but also worked part-time in a manufacturing plant.
Sandra couldn’t shake the feeling that she was pursuing something she didn’t love. It was out of respect to her friends and family that she went with the “safe” route. So, with only a semester remaining until completion, she dropped out of her nursing program and began working full-time for the company that had employed her as a part-time worker.
The Value Based Decision
Between Sandra’s move to full-time manufacturing and her arrival at Clickstop, the warnings which she received began to prove a reality. Her experience was filled with low appreciation for commitment and hard work, unpredictable hours, mandatory overtime and limited employer investment into employee’s personal and professional development. She was committed to intentionally pursuing a career in manufacturing within a culture that aligned with her values.
First, Sandra decided that she wanted to make Iowa her home. She has family in the Corridor and loved the environment. Then she heard about Clickstop and the manufacturing opportunities that were increasing. This was the opportunity she had been seeking.
Since arriving at Clickstop, Sandra’s love of manufacturing has been on display. Her dedication and commitment to quality and efficiency provided her with an opportunity to learn multiple areas of manufacturing within a short time. And when an opportunity arose to lead the 2nd shift production team, Sandra stepped forward.
The 2nd shift team has continued to grow under Sandra’s leadership. Personally, she has worked hard to engage a group of part-time workers with the mission, values and strategies of Clickstop. She is a highly responsible individual who takes great pride in working with integrity. This is not always the case with a young and “temporary” work force. How do you connect a teenager to a purpose that’s bigger than themselves? How do you help a part-time employee connect to the rest of an organization that is essentially closed off from the team? Working to instill that same pride and dedication has, at times, been extremely draining for Sandra.
Yet, she’s been resilient and has been instrumental in helping Clickstop accomplish something truly unique this year. We received the opportunity to work as a sub-contractor on a government contract. In order to accomplish our production goals, it was necessary to significantly increase the capacity of our 2nd shift. In a matter of weeks, Sandra’s team had grown 100%. She was leading a team of 25-30 individuals each night as we worked towards fulfillment of the largest contract to date. We couldn’t have done it without Sandra. Her understanding of manufacturing, the analysis of processes and flow of material has helped us diagnose opportunities for improvement and create greater consistency.
Sandra is a tenacious worker with a dedication to quality without compromising her values. Through this approach, she has engaged a team in the mission, values and strategy of Clickstop while leading our manufacturing team into new heights of production. We believe Sandra is an All-Star.