Human Resources and Manufacturing

Staffing firm hires director of manufacturing excellence

January 5, 2018
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John Keuning
John Keuning. Courtesy Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids

A local staffing firm has expanded its team to focus on training and consulting for manufacturing clients.

The Grand Rapids office of Express Employment Professionals, also called Express Pros, said this week it hired John Keuning as director of manufacturing excellence.

Keuning will lead manufacturing training and consulting initiatives at Express Pros.

“John’s 30 years of manufacturing, operations and leadership experience will add tremendous value to the Express Employment Professionals team and for our clients,” said Janis Petrini, owner, Express Pros. “John will play a key role as we continue to expand our training and consulting offerings, especially for manufacturing companies.”

Under Keuning’s guidance, Express Pros plans to expand its training and development services in 2018. The company will launch a Supervisor Boot Camp for new and future leaders and a lean manufacturing training series.

It also plans to expand the skills training offered in its current apprenticeship program.

Keuning’s task will be to help develop leaders, engage workers, reduce cost of goods and increase profitability for companies.

“I have worked closely with Express Employment Professionals for over five years as a leader at a client company and as a partner in several training events,” Keuning said. “It’s very exciting to officially join the Express team and take the step from being a client to being a resource for other companies.

“My favorite place to be is on the manufacturing floor working with teams to help them be their best, so I am especially looking forward to working on site with companies to address their unique needs.”

Keuning’s background

Keuning brings “a wealth of experience” in lean manufacturing, operations management and leadership development.

He has served in multiple industries as lean leader, plant manager and director of manufacturing.

His past employers have included Grand Rapids-based Richwood Industries, Holland-based Tiara Yachts and Grand Rapids-based Leitz Tooling.

Through each experience, he said his focus has been “to help fellow leaders and team members be their best, while executing the daily duties of manufacturing.”

Keuning earned an associate of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from Ferris State University in 1982.

He serves in the music ministry and is a worship leader coach at Fairway Christian Reformed Church and is a volunteer with Kids’ Food Basket.

With his family, he is a member of Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and is Broadway Grand Rapids patron.

Express Pros

Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids has provided talent and human resource solutions for West Michigan since 1996.

The Grand Rapids Express office is a franchise of Express Employment Professionals, which helps people find jobs and employers find top talent.

It helps companies and prospective employees within five divisions: professional; administrative; advanced manufacturing and skilled trades; light industrial; and training.

In 2017, Express Pros said it helped more than 550,000 people find jobs. 

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