Solving Problems Brings Opportunity in Gage County
16 Aug 2021
The underlying basis of manufacturing is to make products to solve a customer’s needs. Being a successful manufacturer requires more than an idea, however. It needs a dedication to match that idea with the reliability and quality required to keep that customer for the long run. Rosene Machine, in Firth, Nebraska has exactly those attributes.
“We are a company that wishes to partner with a customer and provide them with the services they need,” said owner Dennis Rosene. “Our customer’s problems are our problems.”
Rosene Machine is a full-service machine shop that specializes in developing customized solutions with close attention to detail to meet their customers needs. Rosene started his business out of his garage in 1979, before moving it onto a farm at its current location in Gage County. During that time, he built a reputation for delivering quality products on time. The company's t-shirts state a succinct description of what he and his employees strive for - “Service, Integrity and Reliability.” Their focus has always been on building partnerships and valuing the two-way street those relationships bring.
“People buy solutions, not parts,” said Rosene. “We provide those solutions, with quality and integrity for our customers, meaning they don’t have to concern themselves with products that do not meet their requirements.”
Most of their products require machining done with mills and lathes, with very tight tolerances down to +/- 2.5 ten-thousandths of an inch.
“A typical hair diameter is 2.5 thousandths of an inch, so we hang our hat on that capability to compete globally,” he said.
Rosene needs quality operators in jobs to fulfill those customer expectations today. Watch NGage’s educational video series Opportunity Here to learn more about those opportunities at Rosene Machine.
Rosene is looking for machine operators, who, while having some technical proficiency in math and physics is helpful, will get the training needed at Rosene.
“We need people who have a passion for metalworking and like to work with their hands with a high degree of accuracy,” said Risene. “Coming in with that will help a person to be excited about the jobs they would have here, because the thought of a manufacturing job being menial is only that way because of a person's mindset.”
Rosene said while he has found there are plenty of good people in Gage County who like to work, he is experiencing the same dilemma companies are facing across the nation in finding enough workforce. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, he and other manufacturing industry representatives have attempted several methods to recruit employees, such as offering significant signing bonuses and other perks.
“It is very difficult to fill our labor force today, but we are very generous with what we offer,” he said.
They have turned to other options to get youth involved and interested in their operations. Rosene has provided scholarships to local community colleges like Southeast Community College and Firth’s Norris High School. Now he is focusing on offering On-the-Job (OTJ) training and part-time work for high school students. Tours of his facility seem to peak the interests of some as well. He currently has one high school student working for him after taking a tour, participating in OTJ before heading off to college.
Rosene has seen value in working with students in schools as early as fifth- and sixth-grade. Introducing them to the excitement of working with their hands, making products that they see every day is helpful. Associating how those products are made, through the excitement of automation and precision manufacturing, can open the eyes of youth to options that do not require going to a four-year college and the large levels of debt often associated with that. Just understanding there are options to earn a good living currently available near their home in roles they enjoy and are satisfying can be very appealing.
“We are making a concerted effort to target lower grade levels because we believe we have to get their interest early,” said Rosene.
He said he would be foolish to not look for new business growth opportunities.
“We have just made a large investment to increase our capabilities and expand our machine times,” said Rosene. “There are a lot of opportunities for people here.”