JARC Baltimore employer spotlight

Raloid Corporation, Reisterstown, MD

Raloid’s Chris Jadra with JARC grad and Raloid employee Jeremy Dillon

Raloid’s Chris Jadra with JARC grad and Raloid employee Jeremy Dillon

Interview with Christopher Jadra, Vice President of Technical Operations and Engineering, Raloid

What does Raloid do?

Raloid is a small, veteran-owned business serving the machining needs of the military and aero defense industry for over 50 years. Located northwest of Baltimore, Raloid has an experienced workforce of 55 employees averaging 20 years of company service. Among its capabilities, Raloid specializes in machining (milling, turning and grinding), fabrication (precision sheet metal, punching, forming and welding), finishing and coating, painting, and packaging.

How did you learn about JARC Baltimore?

We’ve been working with JARC since April 2017 when Tom Friskey, JARC’s Director of Manufacturing Operations, came out to our location to provide our employees with advanced training. He has taught our CNC machinists geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, CNC mill and metrology. We’ve had him out for six training sessions, and more are more scheduled.

What are the benefits of this internal worker training?

Raloid is interested in retaining a skilled workforce. This increases our production and keeps us competitive. We like training our CNC operators in our specific methods. With more highly skilled workers, we can promote from within, and that helps to retain employees and improve morale.

Onsite training is a big deal. Advancement is one of the biggest questions facing our frontline staff. The answer is training. When I was working on the floor, I learned the hard way – by making mistakes and asking the older guys. But by formalizing the training, our workers are happier, and their leaders know they can trust that they are doing their jobs correctly.

How did you know JARC Baltimore trains new CNC machinists and welders?

I visited the JARC training center last spring and was impressed with the CNC skills they were teaching their trainees. We hired our first JARC graduate, Kenneth Johnson, in June 2017. We’ve hired other entry-level people since then and have about six JARC graduates employed now. It’s a nice alternative to using temp firms to fill our vacancies. It works for both of us. It’s a good partnership.

Why do you keep coming back to JARC for training?

The skill sets and ability of JARC graduates are consistent across the board. JARC teaches the basic principles of machining very well. This allows Raloid to quickly move applicants into our areas of need and not waste resources and time confirming they understand concepts and principles that they should already know.

What would you say to other companies who are on the fence about using JARC?

Do not hesitate to trust JARC’s training process. I get it, though. Companies have a lot at stake with the cost of their equipment, quality requirements and schedules that are constantly being pushed. Onsite training can be a big step to take, but it’s worth it. 

How do JARC’s trainees differ from people you’ve hired from other sources?

It is the consistency. When I interview a JARC candidate, I rarely spend time on technical skills. I already know what they can do and what they know, and it’s solid. That does not happen with recruitment and temp agencies. JARC candidates are eager to learn and advance. Sometimes they are too eager, but I’d rather have to “pump the brakes” than have to constantly push.

How does JARC’s training compare to training you’ve received from other entities?

Sadly, our company has neglected formalized training over the years. And while I would like to say we have done well with the people we have in-house, it does not compare with what we are receiving now from JARC.

For a list of JARC’s Customized Worker Training classes, visit https://www.jane-addams.org/employers/firm-side-training-solutions/customized-worker-training