Advanced Circuits launches production certification program for employees
Sep 23, 2003
Unique program contributes to company's 98% employee retention rateAdvanced Circuits, the only quick-turn printed circuit board manufacturer with easy, real-time customer service, has now certified more than a third of its board production, test and quality control staff through a unique program developed by the company to provide better trained and more knowledgeable workers in its manufacturing facility."You can have the best equipment in the world, but it's even more important to invest in your staff to ensure they are the best," said Ron Huston, CEO and founder of Advanced Circuits, which devotes just over 3 percent of its total payroll to employee training. "I once heard: 'Why spend money training someone only to see them leave and take that training with them? Worse yet, what happens if you don't train them and they stay working for you? Which do you think costs you more?' Advanced Circuits' focus on ongoing training is a benefit to our employees and an investment we make in the company's future."The in-house certification program at Advanced Circuits was launched in June and is based on the technical and performance requirements of each phase of board production. The requirements were developed to ISO 9000 standards and were created by the company's production supervisors. Employees are encouraged to become certified not only on the specific production area in which they work, but as many other production areas within the company as they can."Our intention is to create our own internal experts in each process," said Tony Garramone, quality manager at Advanced Circuits. "Certification creates a lot of pride of workmanship, and when you have that, as a whole, it speaks well for the company, which shows to the customer."In order to be certified on a specific process, the supervisor confirms an employee possesses the basic skills and knowledge necessary to complete the process. The employee then completes a written exam, based on the work requirements of the job, which is graded by Advanced Circuits' Quality Assurance team. If the employee passes the written test, an auditor from the QA team then reviews the employee's on-the-job performance. If everything is found to be satisfactory, the employee is certified."No other board manufacturer of this size has a program like this," said Garramone. "Advanced Circuits places a heavy emphasis on training and cross-training: Each employee is required to receive one hour of training or instruction each week. That commitment to investing in and educating our employees has paid off in the quality of work we exhibit and the low employee turn-over we have."