Welcome to our new blog series: Stepping Up, where we celebrate our manufacturing workforce by spotlighting some of the amazing people that are helping to keep Lam’s global operations and supply chain running strong.
Market demand for the chips that power our digital world is showing no signs of slowing and has continued shattering industry records over the past year. Here at Lam, we are working hard to support our customers – the world’s leading chipmakers – as they scale to meet this demand by aggressively ramping production across our own global manufacturing sites.
At our facility in Tualatin, Oregon, U.S., we have onboarded nearly 500 employees in the past year (2021) alone.
Although ensuring each new hire feels welcomed, supported and prepared to tackle their new role can be challenging when hiring at scale, Lam is committed to making the onboarding experience a positive and enriching time, and to ensuring manufacturing workers receive the foundational training they need to be successful. Every new hire is assigned a trainer that serves as their go-to resource as they assimilate into their new role on the manufacturing floor.
Providing training and an excellent onboarding experience while navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic has made these trainers’ jobs increasingly challenging as they have had to navigate the complexities of onboarding throughout the pandemic and while Lam has been aggressively executing one of the largest manufacturing ramps in its 40-year history.
Path to trainer
Ashley Jarvis had a degree in woodworking and was working in retail customer service when a friend happened to mention the advanced manufacturing career opportunities at Lam’s Tualatin, Oregon, facility – the primary manufacturing site for its deposition tools. She applied and was soon hired as a test technician. Despite not having a background in semiconductor manufacturing, Ashley has thrived thanks to her love for learning and continuous self-improvement.
In March 2020, production and hiring in Tualatin began to ramp up significantly. At the time, there was only one training coordinator onsite to help new hires integrate into their roles. Ashley saw an opportunity to step up to support the program, bringing forward ideas for how to improve the training process and grow the program as the training team expanded.
Although the role of trainer isn’t something she could have foreseen herself doing prior to joining Lam, she has found it to be immensely fulfilling and a natural fit for her skills and abilities.
Setting people up for success
Ashley’s focus on the Tualatin training team is onboarding: helping new hires in the first few weeks of their job learn their role and responsibilities and integrate into Lam’s culture.
“New hires are given blue hard hats, so they are easy to identify,” she explained. “Part of my job is to roam the manufacturing floor and make sure they have what they need – I want to be sure they are comfortable.”
Over time, Ashley has developed or improved the safety tour and training modules for new hires. Whenever possible, in-person training modules have been converted to web-based training for health and safety reasons. She makes sure to check in with new hires often until they have earned their white hard hat, which signifies they are fully trained.
Most importantly, Ashley radiates positivity and genuinely finds joy in positioning people for success – whether it’s helping to set up their laptop, ensuring they know how to put their cleanroom garments on correctly, or showing them how to retrieve parts.
When asked what keeps her energized and engaged in her career, Ashley responded without hesitation: “My coworkers – I work with people that I trust.”
Building a successful program
The training program that Ashley helped to develop has now become the gold standard at Lam and is being deployed across its other manufacturing sites. What originally began as a twelve-week training process has been reduced to nine weeks thanks to many of the ideas and improvements Ashley contributed to the program.
Her advice for new hires? “Be a sponge. Absorb as much information as you can in the beginning. When you get overwhelmed, stop and give yourself a break. Then get back to it.”
Are you interested in exploring a career in advanced manufacturing with Lam Research? Visit our careers site to learn about current opportunities.