McMillen promoted to Location Manager
Ken McMillen, was recently promoted from Operations Manager to Location Manager at Tennessee Operations. Ken began his career in 1991 at Tennessee Operations and has held many roles within the company.
In 1999, Ken transferred to Warrick Operations where he was Ingot Plant Alcoa Business Systems Coordinator, Casting Superintendent and Ingot Manager. In 2004, Ken rejoined Tennessee Operations as Ingot/Can Reclamation/Railroad Manager and also served as interim plant manager. Ken has also held the position of Fabricated Products Manager at Warrick.
Former Tennessee Operations Location Manager Chris Jackson has been appointed to a Director role in the Global Rolled Products Center of Excellence for Technology, Engineering and Operational Excellence. Chris joined Alcoa in 2008 at Tennessee Operations, and has been instrumental in improving employee engagement and the focus on maintenance, reliability and quality.
Redevelopment task force formed, making progress
Soon after announcing plans to permanently close the smelter at Tennessee Operations, Alcoa officials had their first meeting with representatives from the City of Alcoa, Blount County, State of Tennessee and TVA to discuss how to best redevelop the Tennessee smelter site for future economic development.
“Participants at the initial task force meeting were pleased that the process began so quickly after the closure announcement was made,” said Mark Stiffler, director of asset planning and management for Alcoa. “We all are hopeful that by working together, the site will be used in the best way possible.”
Among the participants was Bryan Daniels, President and CEO of the Blount Chamber Partnership. “Even though we have 1,300 acres currently being managed and available for development, there is no other site like this one,” Daniels said. “This site is perfectly suited for another heavy industry.”
Other officials echoed the comments and said that this site has many characteristics that set it apart from other available sites throughout the area including existing railways, proximity to the airport and major interstates and an abundance of utilities such as water, natural gas and electricity.
“Our experience with other sites has shown that the establishment of a task force like the one in Tennessee, which has broad representation and support from key stakeholders in the community, leads to faster redevelopment that is accepted and welcomed by the community,” said Stiffler.
Alcoa’s asset planning and management group is continuing to work with the redevelopment task force on incoming leads. Concurrently, it is assisting Alcoa Rigid Packaging’s management team on the separation of the Tennessee Operations’ South Plant campus.
High school students learn about Alcoa careers
Farragut High School seniors Ryan Barrett and Zack Snow took part in the Farragut Math Academy internship at Alcoa Tennessee Operations.
The program is designed to provide a job shadowing experience for high school seniors and expose them to potential career opportunities. The students spent time at the plant from August through December 2011, with experiences including everything from learning about metallurgy to calculating storm water flow.
“We got a general look at what goes on day-to-day in a factory industrial setting,” Barrett said. “It was great. You can’t replace what we learned at Alcoa with classroom experience.”
Snow was impressed with what he learned about filtration and external energy created in a reconstructive wetland. “We learn a lot in the classroom,” he said, “but you don’t put it to use until you apply it in a real work experience.”
“These future engineering students now have a real good feeling of what Alcoa does,” Alcoa Environmental Manager Stephanie Sparkman said.
“We not only give students an idea of what a manufacturing environment is like, this is also an opportunity to connect with local schools and open up doors to grow our potential workforce,” Sparkman added.
Wanda Lacy, FHS Math Department teacher, agrees that the program is a great experience for students. “We really appreciate the opportunity to have our students placed at Alcoa,” Lacy said. “It is an incredible opportunity for them to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Our math department was very impressed with their knowledge and excitement about their experience at Alcoa.”
While at Alcoa, the students also learned about the company’s community involvement. “I had no idea what kind of influence Alcoa has in the community,” Snow said. “It was good to see environmental responsibility in the community. It’s a good company.”
Alcoa employees attend Governor's breakfast
More than 400 community leaders and elected officials attended the Knoxville Chamber’s Governor’s Breakfast at The Knoxville Convention Center January 23 to hear Governor Bill Haslam discuss his visions and legislative priorities for the upcoming year.