by Heidi Riley
CMP Equipment, located in Milton, has designed, built, and installed custom stainless-steel food processing equipment since 1957. The equipment is used in French-fry plants, frozen vegetable and fruit processors, poultry plants, and other food processors all over the world.
At present, CMP employs 102 people. James Gillelan, Production Manager, Jason Farrell, Production Foreman Fabrication, and Trevor Ingram, Service & Installation Foreman at CMP recently attended the Construction Association Trade Show to promote the fact that the company is looking to hire another 35 employees this year.
Construction is underway on a major expansion that will add 50,000 square feet of capacity. This will make CMP the biggest stainless-steel fabrication plant on the Island. The addition is scheduled to open in late May or early June of 2020. With this expansion comes the need for staff in all areas of the business.
They are looking to hire mostly Welders, Fabricators, and Support Staff. “We hired 14 people in the first three weeks of February,” says James. “About half of them are qualified Red Seal Welders. The balance of the new hires possess varying degrees of skills and experience and are teamed up with senior employees, who will assist them in enhancing their skill set.”
“It would be beneficial if applicants to CMP have some prior welding experience, but it is not always necessary. People with previous experience in farming or fishing with a strong mechanical aptitude have made the transition successfully. Strong troubleshooting skills combined with a team-based approach to work is key.”
Developing new employees
“Our employees visit Holland College to do demonstrations and show students what we do and what we are looking for in new hires,” says Jason. “We take on-the-job training students every year. This year we have already hired two of those students, and they will begin working with us after they graduate.
“We strongly support the apprenticeship program and promote the goal of earning a Red Seal. Even though we are trying to hire 35 people, we are encouraging our current apprentices to further their education and go back to the classroom for their block release. We take the long-term approach, and invest in our people. We want people to keep progressing in their job, which elevates the whole company.”
CMP also promotes from within. “As you progress through the job, you start by learning and improving your welding skills, learn about fitting, and then learn to work independently. We send our staff all over the world to install our equipment. As they gain experience, they can move into a leadership role, with the responsibility of taking a crew through a job in the shop or on the road.
“We have a review process that provides a roadmap for employees to chart their career. This provides a baseline for the company and provides employees with feedback to assist them in advancing with the company. We strongly encourage people to go back to school to further their education.”
Job postings are listed on the company website. “Those postings describe our ideal candidate,” says James. “If someone does not have all the skills and experience listed, they are still welcome to apply.”
Applicants are given a welding test to evaluate their skills. “They are given a drawing and the kit, and we explain what we are looking for and ask them to estimate the completion time. That test gives us an idea of their skill level, and allows us to determine if the candidate has the potential to become a CMP employee. As long as they have a good attitude, we can work with them.”
“We have created a great work culture, and everyone seems to enjoy being here,” says Jason. “We hold barbeques every two weeks in the summer, a golf tournament every year, and a holiday celebration to bring us all together to celebrate our successes.”
“Safety comes first, and it is a job requirement at our facility,” says James. “We have made huge strides in our safety culture and have a highly trained and functional safety committee that is empowered to ensure CMP is a safe place to work.
“We get input from staff, and they take ownership of issues. We all work together to ensure customers get what they want when they want it.”
For more information about jobs at CMP Equipment, click here.