The People’s Tribune

Harbison Walker International Looks to Hire 20 New Employees

Harbison Walker International (HWI) will hold a job fair at Sacred Heart Parish Center in Vandalia on Wednesday, June 15, to help fill 20 positions. 

The Tribune caught up with HWI Vandalia Plant Manager, Pat Connaway about the upcoming event. 

“Harbison Walker International (HWI) has had success with career fairs at our other plants around the country and in Missouri,” Connaway told the Tribune when asked how often the company hosts job fairs. “It’s a great opportunity for production technician candidates to meet people that they would work with and get to know the “personality” and culture of our company. For us, it is a great chance to interact and interview candidates to fast-track the hiring process.” 

This particular job fair is an all-day event starting at 7 a.m. and ending a 6 p.m. It allows plenty of time for people looking to make a career shift but already working during the day.  

The event is also geared specifically to fill 20 technician jobs due to customer demand. 

“We have an immediate need for up to 20 production technicians right now because our customers have a tremendous need for the refractory products we make,” he explained. “We’re looking for individuals who take pride in doing hands-on work in a team environment. We want candidates who want a dynamic, long-lasting, and rewarding career at a great place to work. We also want to hire people who appreciate how vital our products are for all other manufacturing.” 

Despite challenges and concerns over the current economy and rising costs of materials, HWI says there will always be a need for their products. 

“Although today’s economy is challenging, a strong need will always exist for our products, since they are so essential for almost all other forms of manufacturing,” Connaway said. “The refractory industry is very stable since it is needed for virtually every product you use every day.” 

HWI’s Missouri operations – together called MO1 – produce high-quality refractory products, which are natural ceramic materials that can withstand the high heat used in manufacturing for almost every industry. Refractories make manufacturing possible for countless items – from bridges, buildings, and windows, to clothing, chemicals, and foods. 

Who has the best chance at snagging one of the 20 positions? Anyone ready to work. 

“Many of our employees have been with us for decades, and we also have multiple generations of employees,” he continued. “Anyone from recent high school graduates to those with more experience are welcome. If you have experience with manufacturing, operating a forklift, an understanding of OSHA requirements, or mechanical aptitude, the production technician job would be a great fit for you.” 

When asked to name a few benefits of working at the Vandalia plant, he noted that employees receive competitive compensation for meaningful work that makes a difference in the world. They also receive competitive benefits and wellness programs along with career training, professional and personal growth, work-life balance, and exceptional coworkers. 

“HWI really is a great place to work, and we have a great team,” Connaway closed. “As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are also committed to a diverse workforce.” 

If you can’t make it to Wednesday’s job fair, HWI does expect to have additional job fairs in the Mid-Mo region, but candidates for jobs at Vandalia are needed right now. 

HWI’s Career Fair takes place at the Sacred Heart Parish Center at 800 South Lindell in Vandalia. Wednesday, June 15 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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