Monday, January 6, 2014

Starla in Charge – A Sheffield Place Graduate on the Job

Starla in Charge – A Sheffield Place Graduate on the Job
By Steve Ornduff

Moly-Cop, the global leader in hot forged steel grinding balls used by mining companies, operates a major manufacturing operation just a few blocks from Sheffield Place at the old Armco Steel site.  The President of Moly-Cop USA, Steve Ornduff, serves as a member of the Sheffield Place board of directors. 

In 2013, Moly-Cop completed a significant project to better secure entry into the plant site, including the construction of a perimeter fence and a main entry gate with a gate house.  We decided to hire a temporary employee to work as a gate attendant to help us control and monitor the volume and type of traffic entering the plant.  This traffic includes trucks to be loaded with finished product and delivery trucks.  The longer term plan was to perform this task through rotation of members of the shipping crew.

Initially, we attempted to fill this position by using temporary employment agencies, but the candidates presented were unimpressive.  We discussed this predicament in our weekly safety committee meeting and Norm Thomas, a member of our leadership team, suggested we approach some of the charitable organizations that operate in our area.  That’s when we contacted Kelly Welch at Sheffield Place, and after reviewing several candidates, she suggested we contact Starla Potter about the position.

Starla, with the support of Sheffield Place, recently became self-sufficient, but was still seeking good employment.  Most of her recent experience was in fast food at a very low wage, but she had past experience as an administrative assistant intern with the City of Kansas City and claimed to have excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office.  Kelly said that Starla was very motivated and a hard worker.  So, we decided to give her a chance and hired her as our gate attendant on October 14, 2013. 

Initially, the plan was for this to be a temporary position to be filled for only three or four months.  Within the first week, however, we could see that Starla was special.  In addition to performing her primary job, she took the initiative to better organize many of our records using MS Excel spreadsheets and MS Access databases.  When we discovered her proficiency in this area, we gave her many more tasks, including organizing our plant’s safety and quality assurance records.  She is now conducting all safety inductions for new visitors entering the main gate to the plant, and when doing so, she is definitely “in-charge,” even with salty old truck drivers. By all measures, she is doing an excellent job and has completed many value-added activities for our business.

At the end of December 2013, a long-time member of our team will be retiring.  One of his primary jobs is to perform shipping clerk activities, including generating Bill of Ladings for outgoing shipments and checking freight invoices for accuracy.  Starla is currently training to perform these activities and is a strong candidate to become a full-time employee with Moly-Cop.

Moly-Cop has benefited from the skills and work ethic Starla has brought to our company, and it is our hope that this relationship can continue for many years to come.