Menasha-based Faith Technologies, an electrical planning, engineering design and installation firm, has met the skilled-labor shortage crisis with innovative training and people development methods.
The winner of an Insight Innovation Award in the “People” category, Faith invested in a ground-up growth strategy using its nationally accredited, in-house apprenticeship programs. There are two programs in place — electrical and specialty systems — that allow the 2,600-employee company to add up to 350 skilled workers annually.
In 2017, the company converted an office property in Appleton into Faith Technologies University. Here, 400 of Faith’s 650 apprentices learn in the 35,000-square-foot facility that houses six classrooms and three hands-on training labs.
“They’ve taken on a tough problem that a lot of people are wringing their hands over, and they did something about it. … It wasn’t just internal training and feel-good training, it was actually training that was meaningful to the organization, meaningful to the industry and meaningful to the region,” one judge said regarding Faith’s initiative.
Faith invests in its employees, providing 20 percent more training than the industry average. Annually, Faith provides six paid training weeks to field employees, bringing them to classes scheduled around the country. In 2017, Faith employees received nearly 200,000 total hours of training.
Faith’s forward-thinking people philosophy began more than 45 years ago with company founder Rollie Stephenson, who knew each employee by name and spent more time on job sites than in the office. It continues with today’s President and CEO Mike Jansen, who began with the company as an apprentice, as did many of Faith’s group presidents and vice presidents. These leaders attest to the value of the company’s programs and have a passion to pass along the opportunities that were afforded to them.