Mike Palcher: Quality Assurance Analyst III
My time with Bluestar, now Elkem, began when I was young and fresh out of college. I had little to no knowledge about my needs and wants, but Bluestar Silicones was the first job that focused on MY career and work related desires. As a result, I've customized my career to my desires. As a practical Chemist, I did not want to be a Researcher, however, I knew I wanted to be a part of a system which was manufacturing related.
The company has allowed me to put my skills and abilities to use in order to make a difference. I can interact with both the manufacturing staff and the Research and Development team in order to succeed. Ultimately, the cross-department interaction provides all teams with effective communication, which encourages employees to be more aware. Elkem wants the best for its people and you are encouraged to put your skills to use in order to become a better employee. Once established, Bluestar Silicones does foster additional career paths if you have another passion. My job progression has gone from:
- QA Technician in Surfactants
- QA Instrument Technician in Surfactants
- Pilot Plant Technician in Surfactants and Monomers'
- Pilot Plant practical Chemist in Surfactants and Monomer's
- QA Technician in Silicones
- Senior Quality Technician in Silicones
- Quality Analyst III in Silicones
The most interesting project I've been a part of is the implementation of the Quality Management program in SAP. I am not a technology literate individual, but I enjoy the challenge of understanding the SAP program and implementing the program to benefit the organization.
My experiences in each role have made me the worker I am today. I was able to advance with Bluestar successfully – my work ethic has progressed, I've learned that asking questions is key and questioning the status quo has been another successful tactic. Bluestar has given me more than I expected, since working here I've enjoyed learning about the Chemistries in action, developing the Chemistries for practical applications and the best surprise of all, they transferred me to the Southern climate and culture. The people I work with are dedicated individuals who help others develop their career interests if you work hard and ask the right questions. Elkem Silicones will work with you to find the answers to your questions in order to further expand your understanding and knowledge. I feel my continuous development of skills will lead me to another 15 years of dedicated service, as I'm proud to say I've already been employed here for 30 years.