Tri-Tec Welder Josh Chandler Becomes Compass Precision Employee of the Month
For the average person, someone else’s birthday party typically doesn’t hold as much importance as one’s own. But for Josh Chandler, a 2010 birthday celebration that wasn’t for himself left a lasting impact on his life.
At his grandson’s birthday party, Tri-Tec President Rick Loyd asked Josh if he knew of anyone who was interested in a job. Josh told Rick he would let him know if he thought of anyone.
Hours later, Josh had the perfect candidate — himself.
“Later that day, he asked if I would consider him,” Rick recalled. “I said, ‘Of course!’ That panned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
“Josh has knowledge on everything. (His hire) really turned out well.”
Josh, who attended high school in Rock Hill, SC with Rick’s stepson, Dennis Jenkins, was working at a used cars lot at the time of that faithful birthday party in 2010. Even though Josh lacked previous experience, he fit the bill for what Rick was looking for in a new employee.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what a CNC machine was. I didn’t know what a machine shop was,” Josh admitted. “(Rick) said, ‘I need someone that can drive, that can read a tape measure and (someone that) doesn’t mind getting dirty.’ I said ‘I can check the boxes on all three of those.”
A week later, he began as a driver at Tri-Tec.
Over his decade with the Compass Precision operating company, Josh has worked hard to assume increasing responsibility. About a year into his tenure, he moved to machinist and helped train the employee hired to replace him as a driver. Since then, he’s trained every new driver at Tri-Tec.
In addition to machining and training new employees, Josh contributes as a welder. Before working at Tri-Tec, Josh had never welded previously, but after excelling in machining with no prior experience, there was little doubt he could do the same with welding.
An opportunity opened when former Tri-Tec co-owner and welder Mike decided to retire in 2016. Before fully retiring, Mike Davidson trained Josh in welding, and following his retirement, Josh became a full-time welder.
Today, Josh continues to weld, run machines and train new employees. Rick calls him “one of, if not, the most knowledgeable guy in the shop.” Quite an achievement for someone who says they didn’t know what a machine shop was before he started.
Before his stroke of luck at that birthday party, Josh experienced a difficult period in his career. He entered the construction business shortly after graduating high school, which Josh said was a booming industry at the time.
That all changed in 2008. As a result of a recession that year, Josh lost his job.
While his CNC machining background was lacking prior to joining Tri-Tec, Josh says he learned a lot of the concepts he uses at the Compass Precision operating company in construction. At Tri-Tec, he’s learned to be a lot more precise.
“In construction, if you build something within an eighth of an inch, you’re probably ok whereas here (at Tri-Tec), most of the time you’ve got to be within thousands of an inch (in CNC machining).”
Similar to a lot of employees at Tri-Tec, Josh enjoys the company’s tight-knit atmosphere, where he says “I’m a person” and not just an employee. Josh has gotten to know his boss even better than he did on the day of that 2010 birthday party. Rick attended his wedding four years ago.
Josh is married to his wife, Rheannon. The couple has two children, Zoie and Barrett. In his free time, Josh enjoys visiting extended family and riding ATVs with his kids.