FIRE Program: Training our future industry experts
HWI team members bring passion and intensity to work every day, and we’re committed to matching their passion with the proper training and experience. This combination is how our employees deliver on our mission to be the first and only call for industry and how we ensure a healthy, sustainable future for our people and our company.
Continuous training is vital for both our long-time veterans and newer members of our team. For those just breaking into the workforce, HWI’s Focused Intense Rotational Education (FIRE) program is an excellent resource for recent graduates launching their new careers at HWI.
The FIRE program provides promising, technically oriented, recent graduates with challenging developmental assignments designed to build new skills and contribute to the organization quickly. Participants gain experience by working on complex projects, earning valuable on-the-job training, learning our business, and building relationships across the company.
“Every person I interacted with during the interview process was kind and helpful, which showed me that HWI has a great culture and values employees. I was always interested in some form of a rotational program post-college, but HWI’s FIRE Rotational Program really stuck out to me. I thought the duration of the rotations was a sufficient amount of time, and I loved the idea of experiencing different aspects of the company.”
– Meggan Rusiewicz, Research Engineer II and FIRE ’20 graduate
FIRE is open to prospective candidates who earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA in Engineering, Material Science, or Supply-Chain Management and have prior experience at an internship, co-op, or team-related exercise while in school.
First introduced in 2019, HWI created FIRE to strengthen the cross-functional expertise of our talent by providing opportunities to contribute to various HWI business and operations disciplines. Among the three FIRE Classes since its launch, eight participants completed the program and advanced to full-time careers at HWI, including six employees in current roles.
The 15-month-long program is divided into three rotations that last about three and a half months. FIRE candidates must complete at least one cycle in Supply Chain/Operations, one in Commercial, and a third supplemental rotation specific to each candidate’s interest or area of expertise. Along the way, candidates gain exposure to several aspects of HWI, participate in extensive training, and complete individual and capstone projects.
The FIRE program is just one example of HWI’s commitment to our people and the sustainability of our workforce. Participants and their managers agree that it’s an invaluable experience for new HWI employees who want to contribute their passion and grow professionally.
- Max Smith – 2022
- Andrew Roberts – 2022
- Daniel Starr – 2022
- Meggan Rusiewicz, Research Engineer II, 2020
- Alexis Neumann, Application Specialist II, 2020
- Jonathan Stigge, Process Engineer II, 2019
- Derek Steinbach, Production Manager II, 2019
- Brooke Weber, Continuous Improvement Engineer, 2019
- Samantha Garnier, Research Engineer II, 2019
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership and global recognition, HarbisonWalker International is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 18 manufacturing plants, 20 global sourcing centers, and the largest refractory industry research facility in North America. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.