Heidi changed careers from a local nurse to a Material Handler

Heidi Hämäläinen switched careers from a local nurse to the logistics centre of Valtra's Suolahti factory as a Material Handler two and a half years ago. At the moment she works as a substitute, i.e. she does all sorts of different tasks when people are absent due to sick leave, for example.

“I do like my job. Situations constantly change, and I adapt well to this kind of environment." - Heidi Hämäläinen

I receive parts from the tractor factory, shelve them in the logistics centre and transport small items from the logistics centre to the assembly plant workstations. I also drive an external forklift to unload the loads from the trucks and a high ḱertainer forklift to take parts to and from high shelves," explains Heidi.

There are about 25 colleagues, so there's always a job for a substitute. A supervisor has to master all the tasks in the department so that he or she can support anyone. If there is no one to cover for, he or she works in the small goods packing room or in the receiving area.

I work alternate shifts from 6-14.30 and 7-15.30, because I'm divorced and have the kids on alternate shifts. Daycare doesn't open until 6:30, so I don't go until 7:00 on those weeks when I have the kids. I am grateful to my supervisor for giving me the opportunity to do this pattern. In other positions, this wouldn't even be possible.”

There are several different working hours at the Valtra factory. Many tasks are performed on a standard day shift, five days a week. On the other hand, for example in the transmission plant, there are also night shifts.

Heidi enjoyed a swift hiring process

Heidi's arrival at Valtra was partly a coincidence. She had applied for a job as a forklift driver at the factory earlier, but it didn't work out then. However, she gave permission to use her contact details if other positions become available.

I had been a community nurse for about 10 years and I felt I had already given everything I had to that field. I was about to leave my position in two weeks when my current supervisor at Valtra called me. The job interview was basically done on the phone and I started work two weeks later, as soon as my fixed-term contract in-home care ended.”

The job of Material Handler is Heidi Hämäläinen's first factory job. “I do like my job. Situations constantly change, and I adapt well to this kind of environment. I've never once been annoyed to leave for work. Even as a child at home, I learned that work is valued and that money is worth more than gold. My father was a truck driver and my mother has worked several jobs."

The benefits of working in a large organisation like Valtra are good

Heidi Hämäläinen likes Valtra's employment benefits and uses them diligently. “For example, a discount at a swimming pool is a really nice perk. The sickness fund has also been good in paying for some of my expensive psoriasis medication. It's also easy to do business there because it's like a local branch of Kela. You can also get good appointments for occupational health and the digital clinic is great. I also like to go to the canteen almost every day. It's very cheap and they serve good basic food."

Heidi is the deputy shop steward for the materials department. She says her colleagues are nice. “There are many different kinds of people in our circle of friends. Some people would never want to work in a factory, and that's okay too. I've had so many former colleagues ask me what I liked and whether they'd be up for a factory job too. There were a lot of friends who were interested and one came to work here for a while."

A convenient location for a family

Heidi can not swear for sure that she will be in this job until retirement age but doesn’t see any need for change in sight. “A couple of years ago, I bought a lovely townhouse, which is a five-minute walk to work and a five-minute walk to school for my children. Things like this also influence my choice of job and my plans for the future.”

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