PFG Precision Optics, Inc.

Putting the Polish on PFG Leadership 


Company Profile:
PFG Precision Optics Inc. located in Ocean Springs, MS was founded in 1976 as an optics manufacturer with basic polishing capability using rudimentary spindle technology to supply their modest customer base. Since then, they have added thin film coating capabilities, CNC machining technology for milling and polishing, and have expanded services to the semiconductor, telecommunication equipment, and military-related industries. To diversify its customer base and add to its capabilities, PFG acquired Alpine Research Optics, a laser optics company located in Boulder, Colorado, in 2011. Customers included semiconductor and medical equipment companies, national laboratories and universities. Today, the combined operation consists of 100 employees in 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Situation:
PFG firmly believes that people are their most valuable asset. The majority of PFG’s company leadership has moved into their respective positions after starting out in entry level positions. While the on-the-job training has provided them the technical skills necessary to perform well, there are many leadership skills that must be learned, and carried out effectively to have people who perform well and enjoy what they do. 

Solution:
Rather than PFG developing a curriculum themselves, PFG partnered with NIST MEP's InnovateMEP Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) to help develop a curriculum that would ensure core managerial principles for their leaders as well as specific ones that provide practical ways to most effectively address everyday situations. A few years later, PFG again asked the InnovateMEP Center at MGCCC to put together the same curriculum and continue the training for the new leadership in the company. It put all of their leaders on the same page and provided consistent and effective skills necessary for their position.

Results:
• $260,000 in retained sales
• $20,000 investment in information systems
• $25,000 investment in workforce practices
• 5 jobs retained

Testimonial:
“The partnership between the InnovateMEP Center at MGCCC and PFG really helped us to put together a curriculum that was beneficial in that it provided an exceptional foundation as well as practical situational skills. Our training is more consistent, more effective and has allowed us to more quickly train employees. We have statistics that show a significant reduction in employee turnover and a longer average tenure with the company. Maintaining a highly skilled workforce allows us to take on work that others cannot do. ”  
  — Kelly Tillis, Human Resources Associate