Educating the Workforce of the Future

Plain & Fancy was proud to host over 100 students for a lunch and learn at our manufacturing facilities in Schaefferstown, PA.

Welcoming the Workforce of the Future

Plain & Fancy recently had two events where we hosted students from local vocational schools and our local high school for a lunch and learn session. Over 100 students attended this half day event.

The students represented a number of different vocations including carpentry, painting, electrical and cabinetry. Our primary focus was to introduce them to a manufacturing setting. Many of the students had never been in any type of production facility, but they were very enthusiastic and attentive throughout.

One of my first points to the students was that even though we are in the woodworking industry, most of us are not woodworkers. I expressed to them that the manufacturing umbrella has many facets that need to work in tandem in order to produce a final product. We have front office personnel, an order processing department, cabinet engineers, release engineers and a scheduling department. These jobs are all computer driven and require customer service skills, as well.

Students from local schools visit Plain and Fancy for a tour
Students from vocational schools and the Elco High School get ready to tour the Plain & Fancy manufacturing facility. 

On The Shop Floor

The shop floor has different levels of expertise also. Panel saws are computer operated and CNC routers, which do much of our parts machining, are too. Custom cutting is the home of some of our true woodworkers. These craftsmen really have the hands-on expertise to cut, machine and build all the specialty products our customers love so much.

Next, the students watched the detail work required for white wood sanding. Many of the students were excited to see the staining and glazing techniques and the amount of hand work involved in the finish process, in general. Even more than that, the students were really interested that the technology of finish was so important in giving the final product an extremely durable finish.

Up close photo of distressed sanding technique using a wood rasp
White wood sanding sometimes calls for distressing, which often involves the use of a wood rasp and distressing chain to make the wood appear physically aged and worn over time.

Using a delicate hand finishing technique on all of our stains.
Plain & Fancy uses a tried and true technique to hand apply all stain finishes. 

All the pieces come together in the assembly department, and it’s even more exciting to see the hinges and drawer guides installed for a more finished product. Explaining the details of adjustable hinges and under mount drawer guides were also exciting concepts for them.

Our classroom features all three Aventos units with lift SERVO DRIVE, this got the attention of every student! We also display cabinets with electric and LED lighting. They all wanted one of these in their future kitchen.

We ended our tour with a question and answer session. Most were interested in design, and the wide range of products involved in the custom market. We look forward to seeing these students enter the workforce and hopefully getting the chance to work with a few of them. Their new ideas and energy continue to renew workplaces countrywide.

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