The American dream may mean different things to different people, but there is no doubt that the story of Quan Wong is an example of how success can be earned through hard work and a passion for learning and growth.
Quan began his 37-year-career at Tru Vue, which was formerly known as Chicago Dial, only a few months after coming to the United States from Vietnam in 1979. Formerly working for a wholesaler in packaging and shipping in his home country, Quan worked on the line making windshields for John Deere vehicles, among other things. “Our job was to take the sharp edges off the glass,” Quan said of he and his colleagues. “We used to compete with each other to see how fast we could go.”
Initiative is one of Quan’s natural qualities, and he saw opportunity in exploring other areas at Chicago Dial. He asked to join the maintenance team and then saw there would be an opportunity to replace an electrical pro who was preparing to retire. Through his work with the engineers who were building one of the lines at the time, he learned how to read a schematic, among other things, which gave him even more motivation to expand his skill set. Quan enrolled at Coyne Institute to study electrical engineering as part of the company’s tuition reimbursement program.
Over the years Quan has transitioned from maintenance supervisor to factory manager to process engineer. Today he primarily works on robotics and was involved with the first robot introduced to the manufacturing line. “We now have more than 20 robots, but it was hard work getting to this point,” said Quan. “There was a lot of brainstorming after working hours, figuring out how to do things. Tru Vue gave us the freedom to try new things and see what worked.”
The everyday challenges of the job are what has kept Quan so interested and productive in his work. One of his favorite projects was changing a formula on the etch line, to improve performance on hot days in the old Chicago Goose Island location.
Continuous Learning and Growth
Over the years Quan has seen and been involved in many changes. The transition from Chicago Dial to Tru Vue and the move to the facility in McCook, IL were significant. There have been major changes over the years that have resulted in an award-winning safety program. Automation has improved the consistency of quality. One thing that hasn’t changed is the emphasis on learning and training. Quan participated in Six Sigma Yellow Belt training through the company and shares the principles of Six Sigma that continue to influence operations.
“There is a great culture of knowledge sharing and continuous growth for employees,” said Quan. “We think of employees as a tremendous resource.” For long-timers like Quan, one of the biggest changes has been in the product line. Chicago Dial produced many different products for a wide range of industries.
“Tru Vue decided to focus on what we do best,” said Quan. “Our whole factory is custom framing focused. I don’t think anyone can beat our glass.”
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