Over the last few weeks, MJE Livestock Equipment has had the pleasure of welcoming groups of students from Dodge City Community College and Garden City Community College to tour our facilities. The purpose of these tours is to share the exciting opportunities MJE LE offers for skilled workers after graduation as well as to provide students with a glimpse of real-world experience.
Tours begin in our west building. This building houses a manufacturing shop where skilled fabricators, welders, parts cutters and assembly specialists work together to manufacture gates, panels, rails and other livestock equipment. Students are led through the facility much in the same way that raw materials come through the doors. Tours typically begin on the west end of the shop where all raw materials are organized and stored.
The middle section consists of 12 fabrication and parts cutting machines and the east side of the shop is where assembly and welding take place. There are currently three welding bays and four stations in production, with another three bays to be added this fall. Once a product is finished, it can be moved outdoors to the area of the grounds where the finished product is stored and ready for purchase, delivered to a job site, or moved into our second facility – our custom paint shop.
Tours then move to the large building to the east (the paint shop) where materials can be dipped or sprayed depending on the product. We have several areas for washing, drying and storing our products. Our dip tank is filled with 2,880 gallons of signature MJE LE blue paint. Most painted panels and gates go through the dipping process, however, the spray booth allows the room needed for large or bulky items to be painted.
We have more flexibility for color options in the spray booth. It’s not uncommon to see white, black, gray and even K-State purple paint used on custom orders. Students are also able to see MJE LE ingenuity in action with our custom, state-of-the-art rail system for moving products throughout the shop with ease.
By developing relationships with local community colleges that have excellent industrial technology programs, we partner with them to help keep skilled workers living in the area upon completion of their studies. It is not uncommon for the Human Resources or PR departments to also visit area schools on-site or via Zoom to further encourage them to apply for internships or positions available upon graduation. Shannon Coleman, our HR and safety director, is currently working on a scholarship program for students earning industrial technology certifications to encourage both continuing education and to develop close ties with potential future employees.