At EJ Ajax, we believe the greatest threat to American manufacturing companies doesn’t come from unskilled workers outside our borders. Rather, it’s the shortage of highly skilled workers here at home.
EJ Ajax is committed to bringing bright, hardworking newcomers into the metal-stamping industry. We are founding sponsors of M-Powered, a collaborative effort of Hennepin Technical College, the Minnesota Precision Metalforming Association (MPMA) and HIRED, a Twin Cities workforce development organization.
The M-Powered Project begins with a twelve-week session of classroom training. Students learn basic skills such as applied math, measuring, print reading and job safety. Next, participants complete 480 hours of paid on-the-job training. They go back for another twelve-week classroom session to graduate with industry certification.
M-Powered focuses on lower-income job seekers as well as men and women already working in manufacturing and seeking advancement. Our incumbent workers have opportunity to grow based on their interests and additional training and education. An agreement with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry sets wage progressions as employees achieve higher levels of credentials. Participants in the journey-worker training program can double their entry-level wages in five years.
“The first time I came to EJ Ajax, I was shown the brake press and punch press. I had no idea what the machines were or what the terms meant. I took the M-Powered program at Hennepin Technical College while I was still a temporary employee. I was hired as a permanent employee at Level II, and now I have my Level III journeyworker certification. I became a night shift supervisor in 2006. In 2007 I became Director of Safety for the company. I’m taking courses to become a Six Sigma Black Belt.” — Neng Yang
“I came to the company in August of 1990 as a temporary punch press operator on second shift. I had worked at a lot of jobs before I got here. I was at a crossroads: I was thinking of trying truck driving or going back to school. I was looking for stability. I started using the training benefit almost immediately. We didn’t have the in-house apprenticeship back then. I took courses in human relations and supervisory leadership through the Minnesota State College and University system (MNSCU). In 1997, I was made first shift supervisor. In 2000, I became plant manager. I was made president of the company in April of 2004″. — Kent Djubek, President, EJ Ajax