MVE’s New Director of Training & HR Talks About His Passion for People
MVE Group was thrilled to have Joel Charles join our team at the end of 2022.
We sat down to learn more about Joel, hear about what drives him, and what he’s excited about in the future for him and MVE Group.
Tell us about your history and what brought you to the MVE team.
I’m a Lancaster County native, growing up in the Brickerville area and graduating from Warwick before going to Millersville University, where I got my degree in Secondary Education. While applying for teaching jobs, a friend offered me a non-teaching position in the private sector. I always wanted some business experience, so it seemed like an excellent opportunity for a few years. After a year or two, I found that I enjoyed using my passion for teaching and learning in the business world rather than in a traditional public school environment.
After 12 years, I decided to move on from the company I had joined out of college, and I was fortunate to have some contacts at MVE. We started discussing the vision for the future of MVE and how an increased emphasis on people would play a big part in that. Long story short, I joined the MVE team a month later.
Tell us more about that vision for the future you mentioned and your role in that.
The leadership at MVE has strong convictions about caring for our people, which was evident in my earliest conversations. In today’s work climate, and our industries specifically, growth is often most limited by the ability to bring new team members on board. But proactively finding people and continuing to grow the team takes time and focus.
Naturally, as an organization grows, so does the need for people solely focused on those matters. But bringing people on board is just one side of the coin. The flip side of that coin is developing our current employees and caring enough to put effort into their future and career. Training in 2023 is critical for any organization that wants to succeed. And training is a big passion of mine – which traces back to my education and teaching pursuits.
So I’ll be partnering with the rest of the group to expand our training and development so we can continue to provide the quality of work that our customers have come to expect and provide our team with a path to gain knowledge and skills in their trade.
How are we going about that – growing the team and developing the team?
There is rarely a straightforward solution to complex matters, such as team growth and development. However, we don’t need to be intimidated by the complexities. There are usually a variety of actions that can be taken that will have a meaningful impact… it just may not be one “silver bullet.” That’s the mindset to have when it comes to recruiting, training, and development – it needs to be a multi-faceted approach.
So without getting into the weeds on some of those many facets, one specific area that we’re excited about is increased involvement with youth in our community – young people who haven’t yet chosen a career path but aren’t sure of all their options. Partnering with high schools, colleges, trade schools, career programs, etc., allows us to have a positive influence and help people sort through the possibility of a career in electrical or security.
There are so many things for kids to consider about their future these days, and there are often some post-high school routes that are over-emphasized or under-emphasized. We want to raise awareness so that there’s an understanding of the potential for a rewarding career in a skilled trade that maybe they didn’t know about.
To wrap up, tell us a fun fact about yourself.
People sometimes find my multi-national connections interesting, specifically my ties to Canada and Brazil. My mother is Canadian, born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, near Toronto. So my childhood was filled with at least yearly drives up to Canada, at holidays and whatnot, and it’s something I’m proud to have a connection to and be “half-Canadian.” And then my Dad was born in Lancaster County, but his family moved to Brazil as missionaries when he was a young child, and he grew up entirely in South America until returning to the U.S. for his college years. That’s where my parents met, and after getting married, they moved back to Brazil for several years. Because of that, I’ve got a lot of Brazilian culture in my family and have been fortunate to visit many times and have many great Brazilian friends.