Fecon hosts U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Lebanon, Ohio-based equipment maker Fecon has hosted United States Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, along with delegates from the United Way of Warren County (Ohio) and students involved with Fecon’s apprentice program. The delegation took part in what Fecon calls a roundtable discussion on workforce development during the mid-January visit.

Fecon, which makes wood processing and vegetation management equipment, says it has a long history of providing training and employment to local high school and technical college students and graduates. Its apprenticeship program is designed to allow students to work alongside experienced tradespeople and learn from them as mentors. Fecon says there are regular opportunities for apprentices to expand their responsibilities and their pay rate, as well as attend college or trade school if they choose that option.

“We recognize the importance of recruiting students early and showing them that manufacturing can be a viable and economically rewarding career path,” says Fecon president Bob Dieckman. “Our Human Resources, Engineering and Manufacturing teams have developed a great apprenticeship program, and we’re pleased to showcase this to Senator Portman and the United Way of Warren County.”

Fecon says its program provides hand-on job training in real-world situations, feedback and coaching by job mentors, plus reviews every six months and inclusion in companywide activities. In addition to hands-on job training, the first six-month period includes small-group training sessions on various “soft skills” topics like following work rules, safety practices and procedures in a manufacturing environment, and collaboration and teamwork. 

Specific career paths within the manufacturing field that Fecon focuses on include welding, parts and service inventory control and production. The company says the program has been especially helpful for female welding students who may feel otherwise underrepresented in what can be considered a largely male-dominated field

“I enjoyed my visit with members from the Warren County United Way, along with their local partners at Fecon,” says Portman. “We had a productive discussion about how best to ensure Ohioans get the skills training they need to succeed in the jobs available today.”

Regarding applicable action in Washington, Portman says, “Passing the JOBS [Jumpstart Our Business Startups] Act will help ensure we make skills training more accessible and affordable. In addition, the signing of the China trade agreement and passage of USMCA [the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement] are significant victories for American farmers, workers and manufacturers, and they will create thousands of new jobs here in the U.S. I was pleased to be able to visit with Fecon, a great local equipment manufacturer who will benefit directly from these trade wins.”

Established in 1992, Fecon makes the Bull Hog forestry mulcher plus tracked carriers and tractors and a range of attachments and other equipment for vegetation management. The company says its products are sold through equipment dealers and distributors worldwide.

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