Bracker’s Good Earth Clays continues to grow and therefore, we are still looking to add more people to our team in virtually every area. We do have some indeed job postings, but we have found that we often get better people by sharing our needs with people we know.  Interested or know someone who is?  Send a resume or a simple email stating your interest, skills and a bit about you to mail@brackers.com, (use subject line “employment” or something similar).  Want to know more about what’s available and what it’s like to work here?  Read on….

General notes about Brackers – we maintain a relaxed atmosphere in terms of rules and regulations.  (although we do have about a 16 page handbook full of the legal mumbo jumbo and complete policies).  All employees have a voice in company decisions.  We support and help each other out as much as possible, which sometimes means some crossover in job duties.  Each person out here is valued and respected.  We do not discriminate against anyone for any reason.  We do have some minimum requirements, however.  Everyone out here HAS to be able to lift and carry a box of clay, which weighs 50#.   It’s about 100 steps from where the clay is stored to a customer’s car, so you have to be able to carry it that far.   If you work in the warehouse or as a delivery driver, you need to be able to lift and move those boxes repeatedly.   Our company also leans heavily on technology for communication, order tracking, resources etc.  We’re a Mac based business and everyone out here needs to have a minimum level of comfort with Mac computers, email and web browsers.  We also use a program called Monday.com for our communication and one called Big Business for all of our inventory tracking and sales. You don’t have to know those off the bat, we’ll teach them to you, but you will need to use them.  If you work up front, you’ll need significantly more computer savvy and the ability to remember item codes.  Starting pay is based on a few things-  education, experience, full or part time hours, and job responsibilities.  During your first 90 days of employment, you may received 3 raises based on how quickly you learn your job.  After that, employees are always being considered for merit raises, which are generally applied quarterly.  Additionally, we enact yearly cost of living increases commensurate with the Federal guideline.

Descriptions of the job duties for positions we are currently looking to fill:

Delivery Driver/Warehouse– We have two delivery vehicles, the larger is a straight truck with a gross vehicle weight of 25,000#. This means we can haul around 10,000# in it and that requires a KDoT physical (not a CDL).  The smaller vehicle holds 4,000# max and requires no special certifications.  Anyone who delivers would need to have a pleasant demeanor, as they will be interacting with our customers.  You also need to be able to lift multiple 50# packages in a row at any given delivery stop, although often (especially with the big truck) it’s a dock or pallet jack unload.  Must also have a clean driving record.  When not on the road, delivery drivers typically work in the warehouse, although spending time working in the front of the house is also an option if it makes sense with your skill set.  Advancement within this position includes Warehouse manager or logistics manager

Wage information: Our training wage range is $13-$16/hour based on education and previous experience.  A candidate with a high school diploma and no previous large delivery vehicle experience would be $13/hour to start.  At the top end, someone with a college degree and previous experience with driving large vehicles would start at $16.   The training period is roughly 90 days for a full time worker.  Training goals and checkpoints are monitored during this time and wage increases are applied as proficiency in tasks increases.    At the end of 90 days, a well-motivated individual should have received increases of $2/hour.  Following first 90 days, informal evaluations happen quarterly with resulting raises of 25¢-50¢ per hour based on job performance.  Yearly cost of living increases for all employees happen each year in February or March.

Other benefits: Full time (35-40 hours/week) employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Clay Packager – Must be able to lift 25# packages of clay repeatedly.  This job also includes a lot of going up and down a “ships ladder” type stair case to monitor the mixture of the clay and make some minor adjustments to water content based on the seasons. The environment can be a bit dusty when the raw materials are added to the mixer, but a dust mask is provided and we do have a dust collection/ventilation system.  It is hot in the summer (heated in the winter), so sometimes our clay mixers opt to come in early in the morning and get off work before the heat hits.  Once you are trained and able to work independently, we are pretty flexible on hours. Advancement opportunities by taking on more responsibilities including driving a forklift, dumping the raw materials into the mixer, planning the mixing order and ultimately overall management of the clay mixing process and inventory controls.

Wage information: Our training wage range is $13-$14/hour based on education or previous manufacturing experience.  During the first 2-3 weeks of the position, a new employee will be shadowing and/or working under direct supervision of another experienced employee.  Once you are able to work unsupervised, your wage will go up approximately $1/hour. Our goal is for our clay packager to be making $16-17/hour after the full 90 day training period.  Forklift training and proficiency will result in further increase, and adding the clay mixing portion (dumping the bags of raw materials into the machine) will also result in an increase.  A self-sufficient employee who is able to manage all aspects of the clay mixing job can expect to make $18.50/hour.  Further advancement (and increased wage) to manufacturing manager is available after 2 years of experience and could be a salaried position with production bonuses if preferred.  Yearly cost of living increases for all employees happen each year in February or March.

Other benefits: Full time (35-40hours/week) employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Warehouse General – This job includes intermittent repetitive lifting of 50# packages.  When customers place larger orders that ship out freight, you might spend about 30 minutes slugging bags onto a pallet, or when a customer comes in to pick up their order for 1000# of clay, you’ll be loading their vehicle with 20 – 50# boxes.  There’s also tasks such as carefully and accurately measuring out various materials by the pound or even quarter pound, packing up smaller orders to ship out via UPS or FedEx, light manufacturing of our Bracker Raku Kiln or our liquid clays (called casting slip).  We have two forklifts and a power jack that you will learn to use, and we will teach you, even if you have never driven a forklift before.  There is a reasonable amount of interaction with a computer and there’s also a reasonable amount of interaction with our customers when you load their orders, but there’s also a great deal of independent solo work.  Warehouse employees often fill in as clay packagers and also dump the raw materials into the mixer as much as physically capable (some of the bags for clay mixing are 100# bags) Advancement opportunities include warehouse manager or logistics manager

Wage information: Our training wage range is $13-$16/hour based on education and previous experience.  A candidate with a high school diploma and no previous warehouse experience would be $13/hour to start.  At the top end, someone with a college degree and previous experience either working in a warehouse, or experience with clay, or with heavy lifting would start at $16.   The training period is roughly 90 days for a full time worker.  Training goals and checkpoints are monitored during this time and wage increases are applied as proficiency in tasks increases.    At the end of 90 days, a well-motivated individual should have received increases of $2/hour.  Following first 90 days, informal evaluations happen quarterly with resulting raises of 25¢-50¢ per hour based on job performance.  Yearly cost of living increases for all employees happen each year in February or March.

Other benefits: Full time (35-40hours/week) employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Logistics Manager – We are looking for someone with experience and/or interest in managing incoming and outgoing freight, small packages and our own deliveries.  This job includes auditing all freight bills and disputing erroneous charges as needed, scheduling inbound full truckloads from the mine, FedEx Freight trucks for single or multiple pallet shipments, and planning efficient delivery routes on our truck into Kansas City, Omaha, Lincoln, Topeka and other points within about 200 miles of our store.

Wage information: This is a newly created position with no wage history or range to list.  These job responsibilities are currently being handled by the owner.  This is more likely to be an internal promotion for an existing employee, but this could be a position to be filled in conjunction with one of our other opportunities.  The ideal candidate would have previous experience in shipping/receiving including filling out bills of lading, monitoring and reviewing freight bills, forklift skills (preferred but not required) and excellent map skills (which could be GOOGLE map skills).    Once trained and self-sufficient in all aspects of this position, the Logistics Manager role would add $3/hour to the wage of any other position. 

Other benefits: Full time employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Web (& online presence) Manager – We have an informative website built with WordPress and our online store driven by Big Commerce.  Experience managing these platforms is preferred, but a web-savvy, self-directed learner would also be considered.  This position can be done partially remotely, but some on-site work each week is expected.  Managing our information in other online locations such as google, yelp, and our monthly newsletter (currently using mail chimp) etc is also included.  There is some crossover into marketing and social media.  College degree or equivalent technology certifications/experience required. Ceramics knowledge is a plus but is not required.  

Wage information: This would start out as a contractor position 5-8 hours a week on site  during the first month to evaluate application of skills within our web architecture. ( A Macintosh computer with all the passwords and access you will need already set up will be supplied for your use while onsite) During this period, the contractor wage would be $17.50/hour.  At the end of that month, the position is negotiable to be set up as hourly, salary, or continued work on a task by task basis, however our preference would be for an hourly employee ($20/hour)  performing approximately 10 hours of work on site and 10-15 hours work remotely, scaling as our business needs increase, and eventually moving into a full-time salary position.

Other benefits: Full time (35-40hours/week) employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Administrative Assistant– This is a job for an extremely high energy person who likes regular challenges and a job that is predictably unpredictable. Cindy moves a mile a minute doing anything and everything from high level tech support with customers, website updating, bookkeeping, product ordering, customer service, business planning, troubleshooting, decision-making, bill-paying, policy-writing, evaluating, payroll, tax reporting, research, development, pricing, spreadsheets and a tiny bit of graphic design and computer programming.  As her assistant you will learn all of these things, but you have to be able to move fast, learn fast, and probably talk fast.  You absolutely HAVE to know Macintosh computers and the basics of spreadsheets & word processing,   If you also know WordPress already, that’s great.  if not, you’ll learn.  if you know how to use mail chimp, great, if not, you’ll learn.  Previous experience with dropbox and google drive….Big Commerce, ship station, shippo, shipper HQ, monday.com….?  If you aren’t already familiar with any of those programs, you’ll learn them.  Do you know accounting or bookkeeping or how to navigate Kansas Dept or Revenue websites?   How about logistics and shipping and freight company websites?  If not, you’ll learn those too.  Cindy is fond of the old fashioned see one, do one, teach one method, so you do need to be able to pick up new tasks when first being shown (OR take good enough notes to remind yourself how without having to ask OR, you have to be savvy enough to use the existing resources at your fingertips, which often include a video of cindy’s screen as she completes each task.)  If you’re up for this challenge, I can almost guarantee you will be a better candidate for any job in the future.  (Cindy writes good recommendation letters too.)   Current college business majors with fire in their belly are excellent candidates.  Cindy is open to filling this position with multiple part time employees.

Wage information: This position would start as  a part time position at 10 hours per week at $15/hour for 4 weeks to evaluate application of skills within our company.   After this evaluation period, the hours would increase to 20 per week at a wage of $17/hour and the training period will then continue for an additional 3-5 months. During this period, training goals and checkpoints are monitored and wage increases are applied as proficiency in tasks increases. When training period concludes, a capable, competent and well-motivated individual should expect a wage of $20/hour and approximately 20-25 hours a week, increasing if desired and if supported by work load/needs of the business.   After the training period,  informal evaluations happen quarterly with resulting raises of 25¢-50¢ per hour based on job performance.  Yearly cost of living increases for all employees happen each year in February or March.

Other benefits: Full time (35-40hours/week) employees begin to earn Personal Time Off starting after first 90 days and are also eligible for health insurance at that time.  At 6 months, all employees are eligible for 401K with 3% matching.  After one year of employment, we will pay $100/month toward your health insurance (increasing yearly).

Final notes:

We often start new employees on a trial basis in order to give both employer and employee a low-risk opportunity to feel out the job, environment and expectations.  This often starts with a short 2-4 hour shift shadowing someone working in your area to see how things actually operate, and you get a chance to do some of the repetitive lifting tasks to see how that feels.  This may then continue with up to a week of working here with the option at the end of each day to pull the plug and get an immediate payment as a contractor. We find that by the end of the first week, we will all know if it’s a good fit.  We want to find people who want to be here, so we simply recognize and somewhat formalize that time frame.  Our current team consists of 1 person still in her first 6 months, 2 who have been here for a year and a half, 2 who have been here just over a year, 1 who has been here ALMOST 3 years, 1 who is just hitting 6 years, 1 who has been here over 15 years, and 2 who have been here over 25 years. (OK, the last two ARE the bosses, but they worked their way into the boss position)