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District Administrator Dr. Ralf Niermann visits Buschjost: Invisible helpers in everyday life

A tour around the company (from left): Oliver Wehking, Landrat Dr. Ralf Niermann, Oliver Gubela, Dirk Küster.

Our products cannot be seen, but they can be found in every aspect of everyday life,” says Oliver Wehking, CEO of Buschjost GmbH. “For example, within the coffee machine in our conference room, five Buschjost valves ensure that the coffee is kept fresh and hot,” he continues. A few days ago, District Administrator Dr. Ralf Niermann and the District Business Developer Oliver Gubela visited the Buschjost factory in Bad Oeynhausen, in order to get an impression of the local manufacturing processes and product range. The company has manufactured valves here for over fifty years. The small valves regulate the through-flow of liquids within various products. Customers include the commercial vehicle companies MAN and Scania, the household goods manufacturer WMF, the packaging company Tetra Pak, and also regional businesses such as Boge Kompressoren GmbH in Bielefeld, or the Heesemann engineering works, located in its native Bad Oeynhausen.

Buschjost is committed to educational and professional training. The company has had school partnership arrangements in place with the Hauptschule Nord (secondary school), the Realschule Sued (middle school) and the Immanuel-Kant-Gymnasium schools, all in Bad Oeynhausen, since 2009. The key elements include the exchange scheme and practical work experience. At present, 30 apprentices and 4 students on a combined vocational and degree programme are studying one of the seven skilled professions on offer, as well as the combined study programme. “We are putting our future skilled professionals through a comprehensive training programme and, alongside the specialised content, we also include social skills,” Wehking explains. Between October 2010 and July 2011 Buschjost also trained two young adults from deprived backgrounds, in its Trainee Programme. One was taken on as an apprentice from 1 August. “It is great that you also attend to voluntary activities alongside the compulsory programme. After all, in the end it is all about people,” commented District Administrator Dr. Ralf Niermann.

The 320 or so employees are the business’ most important asset. “Our strengths lie in creating solutions that are tailored precisely to customers’ needs, having a high level of customer retention and a broad product range. Only highly qualified and motivated employees can achieve this,” Wehking explains. Both employees and management, pulled together in the financial crisis. Buschjost survived the financial crisis of 2009 intact, with reduced hours and flexi-time on the part of the employees and a salary sacrifice by employees outside the pay scale; last year, it again achieved an increase in turnover of 26%.

 
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