JVS Precision Machine Technology Grad Is Manufacturing Supervisor at Induction Tooling, Inc.
Ken Mihaly, Precision Machine Technology , Class of: 1990
On average, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that American workers change jobs more than 10 times in their careers. But JVS graduate, Ken Mihaly, is not your average worker.
Mihaly, of LaGrange, recently celebrated his 22nd year at Induction Tooling, Inc. in North Royalton, which hired him a month after he graduated from the Lorain County JVS in 1990.
"I work for a small company whose core values include respect, efficiency, cooperation, accountability, and continuous improvement," said Mihaly, a manufacturing supervisor for Induction, which designs and manufactures heat treating inductors for the automotive, aerospace, medical and agricultural industries.
"It's a clean and safe environment, with training and great benefits, so no, I'm not surprised that I've been working here since I graduated," Mihaly said.
Mihaly was hired as a machinist apprentice, where he learned the "grunt work," the basics. That evolved into a research and development position, where Mihaly collaborated with engineers and suggested changes, when necessary, to the product.
But Mihaly admits that being promoted to manufacturing supervisor was something he never really wished for.
"I was 25-years-old, sitting in my boss' office, shooting the breeze, and I remember saying that I wasn't sure that I'd ever want to be a supervisor, dealing with all the everyday drama, the responsibilities, the headaches," Mihaly recalled. "And he told me to 'never say never.'"
Promoted to manufacturing supervisor in 2007, Mihaly's responsibilities include ordering materials, selecting workers for projects and meeting deadlines.
"We often have 50-to-60 job orders at a time, some due immediately, others in the coming weeks," Mihaly said. "This work requires constant communication between office, engineering and manufacturing facilities."
"We need to be lean, fast, efficient, and watch the overtime," Mihaly said. "It's important for everybody to be on the same page."
"Anything mechanical that involves metal against metal motion requires heat-treating," Mihaly explained.
"Basic heat treating is done in ovens powered by natural gas, which is costly compared to induction treating. Building an inductor is a process that combines copper with high temperature plastics," Mihaly said. "Induction is powered by electricity which is cheaper, faster and more efficient."
"From automobile transmission shafts, spindles and hubs, to diesel engine crankshafts and oil rigs; we make induction coils for them all."
"It blows my mind how much we do for so many different industries," said Mihaly.
Mihaly now serves on the JVS Business Advisory Committee for the Precision Machine Technology Program and recently met with JVS instructors to help guide the program's curriculum to ensure it is current with industry standards.
"It was my first trip back to the JVS since I graduated," he said. "I was very impressed with how the drafting and machining programs are now located in the same wing of the building. With collaboration being such an integral part of the manufacturing process the physical layout of the programs in the JVS manufacturing academy makes a lot of sense."
As a small company with fewer than 20 employees, Mihaly said that Induction is poised for growth and optimistic about the future.
The company recently hired a graduate from the JVS Precision Machine Technology program as a machine apprentice and could be hiring more, Mihaly said.
"Everybody I work with has been here for at least 20 years," he said. "We're mostly middle-age, and we're going to need some new blood to continue growing," stated Mihaly. "The JVS continues to be a strong resource for preparing future workers for the manufacturing industry."