Member Spotlight - Joe Hartings

September 2015

Each month, the PMA Member Spotlight features an outstanding member sharing his/her insights into the latest industry trends and technologies.

Joe Hartings
PMA is pleased to highlight Joe Hartings, EHS manager for Trans-Matic Manufacturing Co., Inc., Holland, MI. Trans-Matic provides engineered deep-drawn metal stamped components, value-add mechanical assemblies and proprietary products to many markets. In addition to the Michigan site, Trans-Matic operates facilities in Mesa, AZ, and Suzhou, China.

Hear Joe's thoughts about technology challenges facing metalformers, what’s on his wish list for his plant in 2015, the best conference he and his employees have attended in the last year, and more!

Q: Which job classifications are the most challenging to find skilled workers?
A: Eyelet toolmakers are the most challenging skilled workers to find. This is so important that the “talent pipeline” is one of our strategic-plan initiatives.

Q: What is the biggest technology challenge metalformers face today?
A: One big challenge for technology is to reach everyone within our company and keep us all connected. We have multiple shifts in different facilities, countries and time zones. We are always looking for creative ways to communicate across the company in all directions.

Q: What is on your wish list for your shop in 2015 (i.e., a new piece of equipment)?
A: Top on my wish list for next year is to put in place steps to help employees prevent injuries and accidents 24/7. Some of those steps will include training and information. If we can make a positive impact on safety at home and on the road for employees and family members, we are making safety a more important part of their life overall. A serious injury at home is no less of a loss for an employee, or our company, than one that occurs at work. Safety should be an attitude and approach to life at home as well as work. After all, non-work related accidents, especially in a vehicle, outnumber work-related accidents 10 to 1.

Q: What is the best conference or seminar you or your employees attended in the past year and why?
A: A group of us went to “Coffee with MIOSHA” in June. The meeting was hosted by Tiara Yachts here in West Michigan. Martha Yoder, director of MIOSHA, spoke and provided the latest updates on MIOSHA’s initiatives. A group of toolmaker apprentices and die-setter trainees attended and it was great for them to meet and talk with some of the representatives from MIOSHA CET and enforcement. It was great to see this event firsthand because PMA member companies may host “Coffee with MIOSHA” in the future in support of the partnership alliance between MIOSHA and PMA Michigan. Here is a link to information about the event we attended:,4601,7-154-10573_11472-356394--,00.html

Q: Can you share with us a recent safety-related accomplishment at your company?
A: Yes! We have been going through months of building improvements and there are a lot of contractors onsite working on the roof, installing windows and siding, and repairing floors. This gave us an opportunity to improve our contractor safety. Our facilities' maintenance along with contractor representatives have done a great job with pre-work safety planning, weekly update meetings and safety audits. Fall-protection control zones on the roof, “hot work” permits with fire watch and overhead work protection are important control measures they put in place.

Q: What are the top three songs on your play list right now?
A: My teenage son and daughter have rediscovered vinyl records and our top three include Led Zeppelin “In Through the Out Door,” The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations," and The Romantics “What I Like About You.”

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