Workplace Diversity
Department Head (Operations)

Department Head (Operations)

locationLa Porte, IN 46350, USA
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Procurement / Operations
Full Time

Howmet Aerospace, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a leading global provider of advanced engineered solutions for the aerospace and transportation industries. The Company’s primary businesses focus on jet engine components, aerospace fastening systems and titanium structural parts necessary for mission-critical performance and efficiency in aerospace and defense applications, as well as forged wheels for commercial transportation. Howmet Aerospace is transforming the next phase of more fuel-efficient, quieter aerospace engines and sustainable ground transportation. For more information, visit Follow @howmet: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Job Summary:

The Department Head will be responsible for driving manufacturing operational excellence in direct support of achieving day to day business goals, improved performance and decreased cost, using HBS (lean manufacturing) tools. The initial focus will be to achieve product flow, identifying bottleneck operations with efforts to subsequently de-bottle neck to increase throughput month over month.

This position will apply Lean Manufacturing and other continuous improvement initiatives while leading a large segment of our manufacturing process.  Specifically, this position will:
  • Achieve the operational metrics for their responsible department, specifically in the areas of Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost, with key ownership over product throughput (flow), Labor Utilization, and Variable Cost/Standard Hour.
  • Identify capacity gaps with regards to manpower or equipment, and work with other functional groups to close said gaps identified.
  • Manage and develop a team of supervisors directly, and hourly workforce indirectly, on the range of 2 supervisors with 40-50 hourly operators; supervisor will be focused on keeping operators productive with in the moment problem solving/help chain resolution, where this role will solve the next layer up of problems that cannot be resolved in the moment, and find and implement sustainable solutions for nagging problems, proactively.
  • Lead Operational Excellence using HBS (Lean Manufacturing) principles, tools, and techniques in direct support of achieving business goals, improved performance, and decreased cost,
  • Define the current condition of the facility to identify opportunities and create target condition, with action plans to improve operational and financial results.
  • Prioritize, guide and facilitate the activities of the manufacturing function to meet organizational goals, initiatives and requirements.
  • Reaffirm existing production goals, or establish new goals, and lead the group effort to achieve those goals.
  • Lead cross-functional continuous improvement initiatives for safety, on-time delivery, production efficiency, and scrap reduction.
  • Develop the capabilities of those in the department through teaching, coaching, establishing high standards, and ensuring accountability.
  • Exhibit and promote an attitude on the plant floor that leads to an engaged and energized workforce.

Job responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Drive improvements by developing and implementing systems and procedures based on data analysis.
  • Drive connections to business metrics as defined with team for consistent action across all shifts – one team, one goal, one plan.
  • Sets the vision for the organization by formulating and guiding the implementation of long- and short-range plans, policies, and programs.
  • Responsible for continuous improvement of plant performance measurements (quality, productivity, cycle time, delivery, and inventory).
  • Confers with management personnel to establish production and quality control standards, develop budget and cost controls, founded in data, and to leverage these standards/controls for improvements.
  • Obtain optimum production and utilization of human resources, machines, and equipment, specifically with regards to eliminating downtime and achieving higher Fully Productive Hour metrics.
  • Develops and implements operating methods and procedures designed to eliminate operating problems and improve product quality (waste).
  • Maintains quality and reduces inventory levels and lead times.
  • Participates in safety initiatives.
  • Utilize best practice methodologies and develop new technologies.
  • Perform other work related duties as assigned.
  • Develop team, both supervisors and hourly production employees, to be motivated and aligned to the department goals, with empowered problem solving and succession planning.

Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelors degree from accredited institution and 3 years supervisory experience (any industry).

  • Minimum 5 years supervising direct reports in a manufacturing environment.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience in the investment casting industry.
  • Demonstrated results in leading facilitating continuous improvement activity.
  • Proficient in all MS Office applications.
  • Strong leadership skills that create an engaged employee environment.
  • Ability to dive improvement through the implementation of lean manufacturing principles.
  • Results driven and accountable for actions.
  • Ability to build teamwork, creating an engaged employee environment.
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
  • A strong technical understanding of manufacturing processes.
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, communication, interpersonal, organizational and negotiation skills.
  • Strong financial literacy.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Must understand the manufacturing process in all areas of the facility.
  • Must be able to be the “change leader” to keep improvements going forward.
  • ABS skills and manufacturing engineering knowledge is a must.

Employees must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

This position is subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which requires U.S. person status.  ITAR defines U.S. person as an U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident (i.e. 'Green Card Holder'), Political Asylee, or Refugee.

About Howmet Aerospace

Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE: HWM), headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a leading global provider of advanced engineered solutions for the aerospace and transportation industries. The Company’s sales for 2022 approximated $5.7 billion. The Company’s primary businesses focus on jet engine components, aerospace fastening systems, titanium structural parts and forged wheels. With nearly 1,150 granted and pending patents, the Company’s differentiated technologies promote more fuel efficiency for aircraft and commercial transportation. For more information, visit, including content shared during the Company’s May 2022 Technology Day.

Follow: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Howmet is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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