Doug Hurt was on campus in October as a guest speaker for the fall Alumni Entrepreneur Workshop. Doug, a 1986 Precision Machining and 1990 Supervisory/Mid-Management Technology graduate, owns Wermke Spring, LLC. Over his 25 years of ownership at Wermke, Doug has also owned two other companies specializing in production and pneumatics. Overall, Doug has hired and trained many Ranken grads in each of the businesses. However, any time he can operate one of the many mills and lathes on his workroom floor to make a part he will.
Speaking to 85 students from Ranken's precision machining, industrial technology and micro-enterprise programs, Doug was inspirational and motivational for students looking to build a long-lasting career in the machining and manufacturing industry. Doug shared his work ethics which began at Ranken, his philosophy on Ranken's continued education and training, his insights on leadership, the financial risks of business, and juggling a business (and more) with family responsibilities. He offered advice about physical, personal and spiritual health that is needed to work, be productive and maintain success. Doug is married and has three children. He balances church, work, hunting and fishing in his life and suggests others should take time for themselves as well.
"Ranken is the best school for machining and manufacturing. I'm a product of what they can do for kids. I like everything they do here, and I get my employees from here because of it. These kids all have to know about their potential, and one way to know is to hear from someone like me who has been in their shoes, even though many years ago."
Doug's presentation included a short video of a 16-axis wire form machine at Wermke that twisted wire into various forms and shapes. Doug pointed out tooling on the machine that is custom made is a skill by shop personnel when standard tooling is not available. Wermke is a flexible, diversified manufacturing facility that has the ability to make a variety of different types of custom springs, from prototypes and short-run jobs, up to larger production runs of any quantity, yet still be cost effective. Doug's presentation explained that springs are found in everything you use - electronic products (computers, cell phones), office equipment (chairs, desk, lights), appliances (refrigerator, stoves, washing machines), automotive and transportation industry (trains, buses, airplanes, ships) and more. Springs play a big part in everything we use in our everyday lives. Doug's presentation was well-received, and students were attentive and asked many questions.
The next Alumni Entrepreneur Workshop will be held on February 24, 2014, featuring David Hunyar (ACR 2007) who found his success as a corporate safety director in the construction industry. Graduates with a career success story are invited to participate in the alumni workshop series and may contact Kathy Fern, email@example.com with interest.