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Going PRO Talent Fund Award Helps Springs Window Fashions Remain Competitive & Save Money


Springs Window Fashions in Grayling was looking to fill a Lumber Grader position, which is a critical position. Springs relies on the expertise, skills and knowledge of the Lumber Grader to know specified dimensions, grades, board footage and cuts to be made to obtain the highest marketable value from material. HR Manager John Metts worked with Michigan Works! Northeast Consortium’s Business Solutions Professional Alayne Hanson to apply for Going PRO Talent Fund to help pay for this needed training.


Springs was awarded $2000 to train existing employee, Erik Rohde. The training led to a national credential from the National Hardwood Lumber Association and a wage increase for the employee. In addition to elevating Erik’s skillset, the training has also resulted in cost savings for the company.


“Having a Lumber Grader on our Outside Department is essential to Springs as it saves our company a great deal of money each year,” states John Metts. “Recently, on one truck load alone we were reimbursed over $8,000 by the vendor after our Lumber Grader disputed the vendor’s estimate of the value of the load. It gives us a solid system of checks and balances in a very competitive market.


The immediate impact on our associate, Erik Rohde, was a substantial raise in pay for him and his growing family, more responsibility, and a broader understanding of the processes in our facility. Having to work and go to school required a great degree of dedication on Erik’s part and we noticed an improvement in his planning and time-management skills. He is accountable for the throughput of material on his team and is learning more each day on how to improve our processes.


Since taking the course, Erik has expressed a new incentive to pursue his education and obtain a degree, which will open more options for him within and outside our company.

Overall, the Lumber Grader course has been a Win-Win for us.”

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