Parts Processor (Former Employee), Vancouver, WA – February 18, 2014
Pros: weekend overtime is generally available.
Cons: unsafe working conditions; inexperienced crews and team leaders; seemingly apathetic management.
I've worked in various aspects of the steel industry (from casting operations to product finishing) over 10 years for three different companies, and Farwest is by far the worst I've dealt with. I saw more entirely preventable accidents in 6 weeks with Farwest than 6 years at any other job, primarily because the majority of their employees are teenage temps with no experience. My team leader at Farwest was 19 years old and his only prior work experience was at Taco Bell.
They also posted a listing for a crane operator, hired me for that position (which was one of my specialized fields), and then put me to work deburring metal parts with a grinder without any explanation. Advancement and cross-training opportunities are next to non-existent, and safety regulations are an afterthought; the first thing I noticed during my orientation was that none of the welding stations had so much as gloves or a hood on them, and the safety gear locker is literally under lock and key and inaccessible to anyone who isn't at least a shift manager.
I enjoy working in the steel industry and understand that it's a dangerous, difficult line of work, but would not recommend Farwest to anyone. I literally chose to be unemployed rather than continue working there another day.