April 26, 2017

Hastings, NE – Thermo King Plant

Hastings is located in the south east region of Nebraska, 40 minutes south of Grand Island, 1.5 hours northeast of Lincoln, and 2.5 hours northeast of Omaha. Hastings is home to one of our non-union Thermo King based facilities, and is considered one of Ingersoll Rand’s largest, most complex, and technically advanced plants. Thermo King falls under the Climate Business and Transport Strategic Business Unit. The plant first opened its doors in 1981, and is still considered the second largest employer in the area. The plant is broken down into two sections: Administrative Offices and the Manufacturing Facility across 234,000 square feet in Hastings Industrial Park West and is part of Thermo King’s North American Division. The facility hosts over 400 employees across two shifts.

The plant was recently recognized for the Quarter 4 President’s Club award in 2016 for their Winning Culture, where they focused on training internally around communication. Their focus expanded knowledge and understanding of dialogue styles and communicating with others. Communication is key to the employees in the Hastings Thermo King Plant, they strive to drive employee development, engagement, and progression by identifying team aspirations and developing a training or mentoring program to provide insight and opportunity for career growth. They foster a safe and culturally diverse work environment, and focus on individual development plans and team building activities with an open door policy.

The Thermo King Hastings Plant primarily manufactures temperature control units for various sized trucks. Products such as auxiliary power units, engine-powered and vehicle-powered refrigeration units, Heat King thermal units and bus air conditioning units are just a few examples of the variety of products manufactured in Hastings. Imagine loading a shuttle from the airport parking deck on your way to the terminal, as you sit down and look up at the cooling unit, odds are it is a Thermo King product. 

Where to go? What to do?

Whether you love being outdoors, or enjoy rich historical culture, Hastings has much to offer. You can stroll around in the heart of downtown and grab lunch or dinner at a local dive, such as Odyssey Steakhouse, offering casual, modern, and innovative cuisine and cocktails. Then head over to grab a movie at The Rivoli, a historical, single movie theatre opened in 1927 that still maintains its historical architecture and velvet seating. Prefer to grab a custom brew? First Street Brewery and Steeple Brewing Company are just around the corner for the beer enthusiast. You can also explore the Planetarium and Hastings Local Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

If you have a love for live theater catch a play at the Hastings Community Theater where you can even watch a few employees act out a scene or two. Some Thermo King employees star in plays at the theatre and would be happy to get you involved.

For those who enjoy exploring outdoors, Hastings is home to the Pioneer Spirit Walking Trail, Aqua Court Pool, Adam’s County Fair (July), Elks and Laughlin Country Club and more. You can also catch the State Fair just 30 minutes north in Grand Island on Labor Day Weekend. While you’re in Grand Island, check out key events at the Heartland Event Center. 

Did you know?

Hastings, NE is known as the town where Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in 1927, and they celebrate with the Kool-Aid Days festival every August. They are also known for Fisher Fountain, and during World War II, Hastings operated the largest Naval Ammunition Depot in the United States.

If you love bird watching and find nature fascinating, watch for the Sandhill Cranes who land along the highway each spring in late February through early April. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s population of Sandhill Cranes land on Nebraska’s Platte River Valley, alongside millions of migrating ducks and geese. This is considered one of the greatest wildlife displays on the continent.

Housing Market

Hastings offers a lower cost of living with an average home cost at $167,000 for a 3 bedroom home. They offer historic homes, new construction, downtown lofts and apartment homes depending on your budget, that are below the housing national average at multiple price points. 

Adam’s County School System

Hastings, NE is part of the Adam’s County School System. According to the Annual Report for Adam’s County School District, in 2016 they had a total of 302 full-time certified staff members with an average of 12 students to 1 certified staff member. In addition they have 226 full-time hourly support staff. The average teacher has 15 years of teaching experience, and 59 percent have a master’s degree. The graduation rate is 91 percent, and the dropout rate is <1%. Of their 2016 Graduating Class, they had 244 Graduates and 112 students received scholarships worth over $6 million dollars.  They are currently investing in additions to three Elementary Schools within their district for upgrades and improvements. 

Get Involved in the Community!

The Hastings Thermo King Plant is actively involved in the community taking part in Relay for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Red Cross, and several employees serve on the Hastings Economic Development Counsel and Chamber of Commerce. They are also involved at the local level with the organization, Community Health Charities.

Thermo King Hastings provides career path coaching to local high school students who have the opportunity to meet with employees from the plant to discuss potential career paths and tour the facility. They also sponsor local schools and help buy equipment to contribute to the education those students receive. 

“I relocated from Houston, Texas to Hastings, Nebraska to join Ingersoll Rand. That was quite a change. My girlfriend, Karrah, and I arrived in the middle of a very rainy night and woke to discover a quiet, homey town with lots and lots of corn! Hastings has charm; Second Street has been a favorite place of mine since day one, and I especially love all of the locally owned stores and coffee shops. I remember walking around our neighborhood the first week we moved and having people wave at us and feeling right at home. After a year in Hastings, I married Karrah and we have now lived here for two years and added a dog to our family. Last year, I joined a Cross Fit Gym to improve my fitness and have made lots of wonderful friends. Hastings has been a good town for us to “get started” as a couple who is newly married.“

- Karthik Mariyappan, Quality Engineer

 

“Choosing to come to Hastings quickly proved itself to be a smart career move. I am constantly challenged by the complexity of this plant. The plant works well together to solve the challenges they face on a daily basis. The leaders around me have taught me how to be effective in my current role, while also preparing me for my next role.” 

 - Grace Guttormson, Materials Planning Manager

 

“I have worked for Thermo King/Ingersoll Rand for 30 years. Over this time I have seen our company grow and expand globally. Our plant here in Hastings has grown dramatically as well.  We have expanded our production scope from solely transportation refrigeration to include auxiliary power units and bus air conditioning.”

 – Becky Schutte, OpEx Change Agent

 

“Thermo King is a family outside of your real family. There are good benefits and good people. The hours are reasonable. I started on 3rd Shift, and never thought I would be a team lead. It’s not a struggle to come to work. The plant shutdown for Christmas is nice.”

– Nancy Kohmetscher, Team Lead

 

“I have been at Thermo King Hastings since 1981, when there was dirt still on the floor. Really! I have seen so many new things transform over the years, from 50 employees to over 400, from one assembly line to 8-10 lines of different products. We are people working together to always improve our techniques, processes and helping each other. We continuously strive to get better and stay on top in our field. I like to help people make their job easier through my job. Hastings NE is a great place to live and raise a family. Feel free to look me up when you come for a visit. This a great place to work.”

– Rich Frerichs, Tool and Die

 

“The company has definitely grown; more diversified products. The Lean Transformation has reduced waste. I have seen an investment in the plant for equipment, HVAC, etc. There is a family atmosphere. If you want to be involved in something you can be involved. If you want your voice to be heard, you’ll be heard. The opportunities are there to grow and develop within the company. We develop people here.”

- Ken Nauert, Operations Manager

 

“Moving from Chicago to Hastings has been one of the best decisions I have made. As a company, Thermo King has put an emphasis on my development and gives me more and more opportunities to get involved. As a community, Hastings has embraced me and given me opportunities to be involved and help out. I sit on the governmental affairs committee, as well as participate in local clubs and professional organizations. But the best reason to come to work at Thermo King is easily the people. The people support you and ensure your success. This company and this community has given me an opportunity to grow as a professional and as a person.”

 – Robbie Erickson, HR Generalist

 

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