CASE STUDY: Hirschvogel Automotive Group

March 1, 2017


Case Studies

Hirschvogel Automotive Group is a German-based Midwestern manufacturer specializing in forged components. Hirschvogel needed more skilled top-level machinists, but traditional recruiting methods weren’t working and the lack of available apprentices who possessed a combination of both classroom learning and on-the-job training made finding them nearly impossible. To compound matters, applicants lacking prerequisite course studies had difficulty getting into training classes, and those who could get in faced scheduling difficulties when they tried to balance work and class times.
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The Challenge

Hirschvogel determined that they needed to develop their own training program for already proven incumbent workers, thus enabling them to increase employee loyalty and job satisfaction as well as build a steady stream of qualified, well-vetted machinists. Rather than sit back and wait for things to change, Hirschvogel management determined that they would need to develop their own apprenticeship-like training program in the United States. By training and promoting their internal workforce they could increase employee loyalty and job satisfaction and build a steady stream of qualified, well-vetted machinists.

PolymerOhio’s Solution

PolymerOhio Manufacturing Services was enlisted to help Hirschvogel find a partner who could provide lab and class education that would coincide with the on-the-job training Hirschvogel would provide alongside experienced, skilled machinists. PolymerOhio introduced the company to a perfect match — the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County (C-TEC). In one year, the partnership went from concept to implementation. Logistics were worked out, a curriculum was developed, and students were recruited. The ensuing program is a combination of classroom work at C-TEC and on-the-job training, custom-designed to fill Hirschvogel’s specific needs.


As a result of the partnership, a training program was developed that was custom designed to fill Hirschvogel’s specific needs, and they were able to invest $35k in their workforce. Students first entered the program in August 2014 amid palpable excitement from both Hirschvogel and C-TEC. When Hirschvogel’s new president arrived earlier that year and was made aware of the program, he said it was not a “nice-to-have;” it was a “need-to-have.”
Hirschvogel is not the only company who sees the benefit of the new program they developed in partnership with C-TEC. The program’s first session drew nine applicants, out of which five were selected for inclusion. Once the employee applicants complete the course they receive recognition from Hirschvogel for completing it and become qualified for higher-level positions. The programs have been expanded to include line work and machine operator training.
“If we want manufacturing to be an important part of our economy we need to be competitive with the other nations in the world that have a piece of that market.”
— Jesse Lang, Die Shop Manager, Hirschvogel
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