Alfen welcomes its 500th employee in the Netherlands
02-09-2020 - Source: Frans Zwagemakers - Economic Affairs Advisor, Municipality of Almere
Mayor Franc Weerwind visited the rapidly-growing Almere company Alfen on Wednesday 2 September. After alderwoman Maaike Veeningen last week honoured an employee who had been with the company for 50 years, it was time to celebrate the onboarding of the 500th employee in Alfen's history.
This manufacturer of charging stations, transformers and energy storage systems is growing and growing. Alfen is the darling of the Amsterdam stock exchange; the value of its share price has quadrupled and promotion to the top table is imminent.
Managing director Marco Roeleveld is a proud executive, not only because the company's stock is doing so well. "What is really important to us is that we are achieving this success together. Everybody at Alfen plays their part. We want to grow - and we will - because although we are now represented in numerous European countries, we are careful not to lose sight of the human dimension. We care for and keep an eye on our people."
In-house training centre
This can be seen in the way that Alfen's training centre is functioning, hand-in-hand with vocational education. Our training centre offers approximately 60 employees relevant vocational education within the company at Levels 2 and 3 with the option of flowing through to Level 4. Level 2 and 3 training takes place on site at Alfen, keeping lines short.
Employees who cannot keep up or who frequently fail to do their homework are not punished, but coached. 'We look at the issue from all sides - should we be teaching the material in another way, or should we be aiming at completing the course work in 3 or 4 years instead of two. But there are also employees who complete the training course faster. We take a seat alongside the employee.'
Proud of Almere
Roeleveld - a 23-year company veteran - talks about Alfen with enthusiasm and passion. Just as the mayor talked enthusiastically about Almere. 'Almere has so much to offer, has so many things to be proud of, even though we do not yet have the status and history of older cities. I would like to invite Alfen to help us truly put our city on the map in much the same way that Almere proudly promotes the municipality's magnificent companies.' And with a knowing wink to the rapid growth of Alfen - on the stock exchange as well - Franc says with a sigh: 'I wish I had bought Alfen shares!'
The above-mentioned description almost detracted attention from the reason for gathering, although that was absolutely not the case during this meeting. The 500th employee, Ghislaine Koolman (29) from Nieuw Vennep, took her place on the stage at a distance from the two speakers. On her second day at work as an Operations Quality Engineer at Alfen, she was heralded with music and a big bunch of flowers.
Ghislaine said that she chose to work at Alfen quite consciously - leaving another job in the automotive sector to do so - due to her wish to contribute to energy transition and the people-focused atmosphere at the company. A capable young lady in a technical company predominantly staffed by men and a company that vigorously supports the notion of women transitioning to technology. Whereby the mayor in turn was warmly invited to stimulate his young daughters to consider a career in engineering. Because Alfen will continue to grow and needs a constant flow of fresh new talent. On the production lines, in customer service, software development, sales. There's never a dull moment in this sector. And all of this work is carried out with an exemplary regard for the corona measures.