Jari swapped travelling for regular factory work
Jari Niskanen was about 30 years old, an experienced construction worker and road worker, when the recession hit in the early 1990s. Construction work was laid off and his wife told him that Valtra was looking for new workers.
"I went for an interview less than an hour after the call I heard that I got the job! I started my work the very next morning. My career at Valtra took off pretty quickly and I will soon have been there 3 decades," - Jari Niskanen.
“In April 1994, I called the production manager at Valmet (as Valtra was then called) to see if there was any work. I went for an interview less than an hour after the call and started work the next morning. My career at Valtra took off pretty quickly and I will soon have been there three decades," recalls Jari Niskanen.
Initially, Jari worked on the assembly line and as an assistant at various workstations, but soon moved on to finishing. “I spent 15 years in surface finishing. After that, I did restoration work for eight years. Finishing suited me better than working on the line because it was closer to the kind of varied work I was used to.”
Flexibility at Valtra enabled Jari to move to a new role when shoulder problems became an issue
Jari Niskanen's shoulders began to bother him at work in the paint shop. The occupational pension company recommended a change of work. “I got a job in the APS team, where initiatives are implemented, working conditions are improved and changes are made at the factory.”
During the six-month work rehabilitation, Niskanen studied well-being at work and ergonomics.
Diverse work improving safety, ergonomics, speed and productivity.
On the day of the interview, Niskanen is working on soundproofing a scrap metal shop. The metals thrown into the metal shed were causing unnecessary noise, and the shed's plywood lining is silencing the rattle. Next, he'll start making the mounting table for the engine covers required by the new tractor models. “This work is an ongoing development of workstations. Improving safety, ergonomics, speed and productivity. For example, when the new paint shop is completed in the summer, a large part of the workstations on the assembly line will be redesigned. In the autumn, after the summer holidays, everything has to be ready to start production without any problems.”
Jari Niskanen appreciates the regularity of factory work compared to the crane and travelling jobs of the past. “Before, in the morning, I had no idea where I would end up and when I would return. Now, if work finishes at four o'clock, I'm already home within fifteen minutes.”
There are a wide variety of metalworking jobs at Valtra
Jari wants to emphasise that the Suolahti factory has a wide variety of very different metalworking jobs. For example, the assembly plant and the transmission plant are two completely different worlds, where one is mainly assembly work and the other more machining.