Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation was honored at the Oklahoma History Museum last week as Northeast Technology Center’s 2017 Partner for Progress.
The Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education (OkACTE) Partners for Progress award recognizes businesses and industries that have made outstanding contributions to the improvement, promotion, development and progress of career and technology centers in Oklahoma.
Hopkins sells automotive aftermarket products in more than 75,000 distributors and retailers across the globe. Over the last 50 years, Hopkins Manufacturing has grown into a market leader in each of the six businesses they operate. One of those is their Miami, Okla., location that has been open for five years and employs 120 area citizens. During those five years, Hopkins has experienced 20% growth. And throughout that growth, Hopkins has relied on Northeast Tech’s Business and Industry Services (BIS) staff for training needs.
Melissa Parker, Human Resources Generalist at Hopkins Manufacturing, shared what brought their business to Northeast Tech’s trainers.
“Initially Hopkins partnered with Northeast Tech in an effort to see what grant funding for training was available from the State of Oklahoma,” said Parker. “We wanted to see where we could save money, but we also wanted to keep our training dollars within the local economy, so we reached out to our local Tech Center. In doing so, we found a great partner in Northeast Tech’s BIS team. They were a perfect fit for us.”
Hopkins has utilized Northeast Tech’s Organizational & Leadership trainer, Sara Stephens, for generational diversity and supervisor trainings, as well as communication with Myers-Briggs preferences through personality assessments. Safety trainers at Northeast Tech have also performed a mock OSHA audit for Hopkins.
“The biggest benefit in working with Northeast Tech has been the improvements to our Lean Manufacturing journey,” said Parker. “Northeast Tech paired us with Industrial Solutions Inc. (ISI), out of Tulsa to further expand our Lean journey. In the last two years, we have held 12 Lean events. ISI worked with us to develop representatives of the company into better problem solvers and allowed Hopkins employees of all experience levels to be empowered and knowledgeable regarding waste reduction and ways to share valuable input from different perspectives.”
Hopkins reports that due to these trainings, the company is benefiting from decreased mold changeover times and increased productivity due to incorporating 6S Principles into everyday work. They are even more optimistic about continued growth and improvements in the future.
Northeast Tech’s BIS team has helped numerous businesses increase productivity, growth, and profits, by providing effective, cost-cutting services and training solutions. They have a variety of services and products to choose from including safety training, business development, and ag business management, among others.